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“Great times at Coral Hill Bungalows”

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Coral Hill Bungalows
Ranked #5 of 21 Cahuita B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 November 2012

Just spent 5 nights at Coral Hill bungalows and had an amazing time. Joe & Chris were very hospitable, gave great advice about places to go and excursions to take and even booked trips for us. Breakfast was constantly beautifully presented fantastic tasty fresh fruit and bread with jam. Also ask for Joe's home made banana pancakes! Alternatives were also available by request. The location (2 mins from playa negra) and beautiful wooden bungalows were really fantastic and we would love to stay again sometime in the future.

Only negative we can think of was that the wifi was a bit patchy (probably down to Cahuita's remoteness).

I'd ignore the negative reviews about bugs in the bedroom, yes there's the occasional large grass hopper but they're harmless and part and parcel of enjoy the extraordinary environment that Costa Rica provides. Man up or get under the mosquito net provided. Bungalows were spotlessly cleaned every day.

Would recommend walks through the national park, snorkelling trips to the reefs, river canoe trip with Jose, and a trip to Jaguar sanctuary to cuddle a baby monkey!

If you're looking to surf don't pick October though as was flat as banana pancake. Perfect for snorkelling though as visibility great.

Cute 6 month old German Shepard called Rocky too!

Room Tip: Think all three bungalows are very similar. Colibre was the middle one so pick one of the others for...
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank AlfAlf27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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98 - 104 of 278 reviews

Reviewed 24 October 2012

My husband and I stayed at Coral Hill Bungalows for 8 days and enjoyed every minute of our stay. When we first arrived and checked out the town we thought that 8 days might be too long in such a small little town, but we quickly found out that there is so much to do. We went horseback riding through the jungle and on the beach, visited the Jaguar Rescue Center where we held howler monkeys, visited Cahuita National Park, went on a fishing trip, rented bikes and explored the neighboring towns like Puerto Viejo, and checked out many different beaches and restaurants along the coast.

It was always nice coming back to our bungalow after a day of adventure. We saw all kinds of strange bugs and critters around in the jungle but the bungalows were very clean comfortable, and very well taken care of. Swinging on the hammock on the porch listening to the sounds of the jungle and rain on the tin roof was always a nice relaxing way to end the day.

We can't say enough good things about the owners Joe & Chris. They served the most delicious and fresh breakfast every morning, arranged many of our activities and transportation for us, and gave us many helpful tips for getting around in the area. They truly wanted us to enjoy our stay and it was obvious. When my husband brought back fish for them from his fishing trip they even invited us to eat dinner with them. They were excellent hosts in every way.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank LaurelMichele
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2012

It's been a year since my husband and I honeymooned at Coral Hill Bungalows and not a day goes by that we don't think about the amazing time we had. Chris and Joe are delightful, friendly, and very helpful hosts. They're there when you need them and also know how to keep their distance! The breakfast served on the patio every morning is AMAZING. Delicious fresh fruits and pastries and the best coffee I've ever had. Ask Joe to bring you the 'magic fruit' that makes limes tase like candy! Our cabina was clean and beautifuly decorated. The front porch was great; we loved laying in the hammock and watching the resident sloth lounge in the tree outside. We got the honeymoon package that included two meals there at Coral Hill which Joe prepared and they were both delicious! Chris and Joe will help you plan your entire stay, from making reservations for you to eat delicious payaya at one of the many amazing restaraunts in Chauita, to scheduling your horseback rides, massages, snorkeling, or zip line tours. They were always happy to be of assitance. We also loved the mini fridge in the main area that was stocked with beer and soda; really made it feel like home! They were perfect hosts; I can't say enough about how great they were. Oh, and their dog Lady is great to have arounfd if you're missing your furry friends at home...

After reading the three negative reviews about bugs and whatnot I will say that Cahuita is a place for relaxed, easy going travelers. If you feel that you are high maintenance you might want to try a different town entirely. We absolutely loved Cahuita and how friendly everyone was and we always felt SAFE; we loved riding the bikes we rented on the bumpy dirt roads or down the road to the sloth sanctuary; we loved going to the Reggae Bar on Friday night to mingle with the locals and other tourists while enjoying delicious BBQ; we loved sitting on the beach drinking Imperials and watching the dogs run around; we loved going to sleep to the sound of rain on the tin roof and waking up to the sound of Tucans and Howler Monkeys; we loved the casual laid back way of life that everyone seemed to enjoy here and we fit right in. Like I said, it's not for everyone but I can't imagine anyone not loving Cahuita and the Coral Hill Bungalos. After planning a wedding and getting married it was exactly the place we needed to be to relax and enjoy spending time with eachother. It's truly a magical place and we can't wait to go back someday.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Fiona S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2012

This past August, my new wife and I went on our honeymoon to Costa Rica. Our first stay was by the Arenal Volcano at Nayara Resort (wonderful!) then we drove to Limon for a four night stay, and eventually drove to the Pacific Coast for the rest of the two weeks. When we arrived at the Coral Hill Bungalows we were excited! There are three cute little cottages walking distance to a great restaurant, and awesome reggae bar, and the beach! What more could you ask for??

Our first night after dinner and listening to some reggae music, we came back to the room and there were a handful of small lizards on the ceiling. Lizards eat bugs so we weren't super concerned- but we checked the bed diligently and made sure to tuck the bug net in tight so we wouldn't have any unwanted visitors. We slept great and had no other unexpected visitors but the gaps in the ceiling and the roof kept us at high alert for the next day.

We mentioned the lizards at the included breakfast to an Irish couple on their honeymoon. I asked if they used the bug net too and they said they most certaintly did. They saw more than just lizards in their room! I should have asked more questions but I didn't want to get my wife worked up so we let it go at that- Well the next night we found out what they were talking about. Three grasshoppers the size of twinkies were on our ceiling of our bungalow when we got back from our day exploring the coast. Even grosser was their poop droppings on the floor under where they'd been hanging out!! We spent most of dinner discussing what we would do if they were still in our room when we got back and searching for other hotels in our lonely planet book. Not the way I anticipated spending a romantic honeymoon evening. We found a backup hotel but thankfully when we got back to the room- Only one was left and it was in our bathroom. We felt that we could make it one more night but we slept with one eye open and fully closed. Not Honeymoon Status.

We told the owners about our 'visitors' from the day before at breakfast and they told us the giant grasshoppers were harmless- We were making a big deal out of nothing- and they would kill them for us later that day. This conversation made me feel like they were laughing at us. Silly tourist scared of the GIANT BUGS!

Our stay reached its breaking point that night when we returned from dinner and drinks and found three Orange sized spiders spiders hiding out in our luggage area!!! I killed all three with my flip flop and we searched that room up and down for more! Another sleepless fully clothed night and we made the decision that we could not stay another night here.

The next morning when we told the owners about the spiders- they again played it off. Those spiders are harmless! Didn't you play with spiders as a kid?? You're in Costa Rica- You have to be tough! You'll find spiders anywhere you stay!

At this point we'd had enough and we went to the beach to discuss our options- We consulted the guide book and found a hotel in the center of Costa Rica (The Hacienda Experience) that would let us spend the night with them at the last minute. We went back to Coral Hills- (carefully) packed our bags and got ready to leave a day early. We told the owners of our plan- Move on early and try to get a good night sleep without any creepers crawlers. Again they spoke down to us saying 'Good Luck with that! You are in Costa Rica you know'

This 'deal with it' attitude that they showed really rubbed us the wrong way. They also didn't offer any refund for the last nights stay that we were missed. I was at the point where I didn't care about the money- I just wanted to get out of there and away from them.

The rest of our stay in Costa Rica was amazing. No more bugs in the room- Amazingly kind Costa Rican's who wanted nothing more than us to have a great stay. And a honeymoon to remember forever.

If you want a romanitic honeymoon- I would steer clear of Coral Hills

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank gck789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2012

Having travelled around most of Costa Rica, this is one of the nicest places my girlfriend and I stayed. The rooms were immaculate as well as beautiful and a very good shower was a personal highlight! It's is also only about a 10-15 minute walk to central Cahuita and only a 2 minute walk to a beautiful beach. Joe and Chris the owners were not only friendly but extremely helpful and will help to organize tours in the area. The breakfasts too are something we cannot forget - delicious! All in all a very happy and comfortable couple of days.

  • Stayed: August 2012
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Thank George M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2012

Coral Hill Bungalows are beautifully maintained and a brilliant stay. I would happily say it was a home away from home - This was relaxing, peaceful and an amazing place. Joe and Chris the owners were fantastic hosts were both very helpful with all the local information, and not forgetting the third host “Lady” (their dog she was just adorable!!) - If your not a dog lover this may not be the place for you every breakfast Lady was there like a shot to see what she could "puppy dog eye" out of you!

The breakfasts were wonderful & presented very well, also as I have food allergies it is often difficult to go away so I usually travel with food just in case so I was lucky to have done so, and they were able to store my rice milk for my use & they accommodated special requests.
This isn't a typical resort stay and I would hasten to add, please don't expect plasmas, music etc. This is very much a nature retreat that is not too far from the beach (drive or long walk) and other amenities. This has been my favorite experience in Costa Rica thus far - if you are looking for something different then this is the place to go, where you wake up with frogs on your porch & hear the nature at night!
At night we had torches to find our way to the rooms so we could see the path, so I wouldn't recommend families with small children staying here, but this is definitely one for adults. Also as all nature retreat you can expect to find the occasional bug, but in comparison to other such retreats I would say Coral Hills was by far superior with its cleanliness in fact we were surprised that there were only one or two. So this was a bonus!
All in all 10/10 best place to stay on the coast!

Room Tip: Just check the website and view the bungalows this is the best way...
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank MandiMJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JunglelifeCostaRica, Owner at Coral Hill Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded 24 September 2012

Thank you so much your wonderful comments. We are very happy you enjoyed your stay so much. We are glad we were able to accommodate your needs. We hope you return and see some of the improvements and changes we have made.
We are sorry to inform you and all of Lady's great fans that she has passed on at the ripe old age of 14 years 9 months. . She enjoyed yours and everyone's attention and of course Hibiscus flowers for breakfast. She will be sorely missed here.
Again thank you for your comments and your stay.
Pura Vida

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Reviewed 18 September 2012

We live in the San Jose area and wanted to go to the Caribbean coast for the weekend to experience its charm of quiet, undeveloped natural beach areas with a friendly Caribbean and European community feel. Cahuita is our favorite Caribbean town to spend the night and Playa Punta Uva for beach time during the day.

Driving there:
Limon is 3 hours from San Jose and it takes another 40 minutes to get to Cahuita. Something to keep in mind is the road from San Jose to Limon in the Braulio Carrillo area is very dangerous at night. Limited visibility, no center yellow line and limited signage letting you know of road condition or turns ahead, no street lights. You will have to use your highbeams just to see the road conditions ahead. Not recommended for the inexperienced travelers to CR. We recommend arriving and leaving during the daytime to have a more pleasurable car ride to and fro.

Coral Hill Bungalows:
Coral Hill Bungalows offered 3 nice bungalows ($124/night includes taxes and breakfast) and a nice couple maintains the property with a vested interest in the area. We appreciated the opportunity to find such a clean, well-maintained, safe, and private setting. We also appreciated the exception they made to let us stay 1 night vs. the 2 night minimum. Thank you, Chris!

We loved our bungalow for its wooden details, high ceilings, the large bathroom (great sinks, facets choices and shower design) and beautiful custom front porch.

The only drawbacks in the bungalows structure were:

1. Proximity to 3 other Bungalows --- we were really surprised with nestled in nature, how close the bungalows were to each-other and that the plants didn't have more dense, curtain-like foliage between them. For example, while we sat on our front porch, we could see a bright light coming from the neighboring front porch and could see the neighbor's side window very clearly. Not as private as we had hoped.

2. Tin Roof vs. Bamboo and Palm leaves: We were surprised that the bungalows had a tin roof which highlights every little sound that hits the roof such as rain, branches, an animal, nuts, etc. Not as relaxing and romantic at night or while enjoying the porch as we would have liked. We were surprised they didn't utilize bamboo and palm leaves like other bungalows places we've stayed at. Ex. Lapa Rios. Their were lots of natural bamboo accents but, in the interior of the bungalow.

3. The nighttime sensor light outside the bungalow bathroom: went on and off at nighttime which made me nervous and perplexed what was causing it. It was disturbing to the evening as we didn't know why, We assumed an animal or plant was causing it but, still it made for an unsettling night sleep and cast a bright stream of light in the bathroom sporadically. Not relaxing or romantic. Chris and Joe explained why at breakfast but, we wished they had either told us prior to nightfall, dealt with the issue thoroughly or, moved us to the other bungalow upon check in.

4: Lack of windows to take in the surrounding nature and breeze. We loved the bungalow but were surprised at the size of the windows and how you couldn't see nature clearly out of them unless you were outside or on the porch. More screen windows would have made the bungalow experience better for us. We felt a little more enclosed than what we were expecting, considering the beautiful location and safe area.

5. The bed linens: the bed was extremely comfortable, beautiful as were the pillows comfortable but, I did not enjoy the sheets. Personally, I felt like the choice to use luxurious SATEEN-cotton in the tropics (moisture, humidity) is a poor choice. It makes the sheets feel damp and not soft like bamboo sheets. Its just my suggestion for a more luxurious feel that we've found the benefits at other places in CR. Exa. Finca Rosa Blanca - bamboo sheets.. Minor detail but, a suggestion to change.

Where to eat:

Reggae Bar. Based on the name and vibe of the bar with music, we thought it was a place to chill with the locals and have a cerveza with barfood but..... We were pleasantly surprised how delicious the food was for lunch and gourmet, nice presentation-- great red snapper and garlic shrimp dishes. Thanks Joe for the recommendation!

MIss Edith's: delicious Caribbean food in a restaurant all its own. Loved the curry, coco and ginger fish dish (amazing sauce). Great plantains with cheese and fruit drinks. This is the real deal and a must stop for lunch or dinner (don't arrive too late). 6th generation authentic Jamaican-carribean cooking run and operated on their own terms which one must except in order to truly enjoy and savor her great home cooking.

All in all we were happy with our weekend choice and the vibe of Cahuita, the friendly community as we experienced nothing but friendly waves, smiles and happy bike riders along the gravel roads when we walked around. Let's hope this area remains as untouched as it can be for years to come.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Katma_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JunglelifeCostaRica, Owner at Coral Hill Bungalows, responded to this reviewResponded 24 September 2012

Thank you so much for your wonderful comments on your stay with us. We are especially flattered that you would compare our little 3 Bungalow 1acre property to the luxurious $500 to $600 per night 1000 acre oceanfront Lapas Rio Wildlife reserve.
Just to let you know, we did try to use palm thatched roofs, but the builder convinced us that the danger of Snakes, Bats, tarantulas and other animals living in them was too great to use them,
It was great meeting you both and please return some time for a few more days so you can see more of the many unique and wonderful things here to do.
We did fix the night lights and actually prefer our 1000 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets to the bamboo. For us in this weather they seem to breathe best and offer a cooler more comfortable sleep.
If you should come back we have some other great restaurants you did not have time to try.

Pura Vida

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Additional Information about Coral Hill Bungalows

Address: Calle Humphrey | Playa Negra, Cahuita, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Cahuita
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 21 B&Bs / Inns in Cahuita
Price Range: £107 - £117 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Coral Hill Bungalows 3.5*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to our little piece of Paradise in the jungle. We are a deluxe luxury accommodation offering impeccably clean rooms in a beautiful garden environment just steps to Playa Negra, with a gourmet breakfast included. You are surrounded by the animals, birds, butterflies, flowers, trees and sea. Come see us and enjoy the unique place we have to offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Coral Hill Bungalows Hotel Cahuita

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