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“The Goods and Bads of El Nido -- Interesting”
Review of El Nido Cabinas

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El Nido Cabinas
global
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“The Goods and Bads of El Nido -- Interesting”
Reviewed 15 September 2010

Reading through these reviews is interesting. All in all, the bad with the good; I think they sum up this place, where we've stayed for a few days.

The owner (woman) is a little odd (and moody,) but this goes two ways. She can be perplexed, and she can be incredibly helpful.

(Why is Costa Rica filled with aging white hippies in the hospitality business? Spiritual bents; decent hearts - probably reached a certain amount of wealth in their prior lives..... ) Note: She asks people to give good reviews in TripAdvisor!

The breakfast is repetitive, but it's pretty good, and healthy. We were satisfied. Plus it's free. This isn't a restaurant with choices. (And the cabins have nice kitchens.)

The place is lovely; no doubt. One of the prettiest around. The pool nice. And yes, like all over Costa Rica, there are pet dogs who double as property guards. They warm up to guests, and can be quite companionable.

So, like small, family-run hotel type places everywhere, El Nido is a little this, and a little that. Overall, it's very pretty and comfortable, and in a fun and interesting stretch of the Costa Rican caribbean coast.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank thinkingtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Huntington Beach, CA
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 19 August 2010

We were excited to stay at El Nido. A small facility (just 4 cabinas and an apartment) that was one year in operation promised a clean modern environment. That short experience would show in the services, of course but we hoped that the new environment and the enthusiasm of Gail and her niece Justine would make up for it. And it sure did! We loved the cabina, especially the shower and the air conditioning. The salt water pool was amazing! And talk about location: across the street from a small grocery and wi fi pizza stand, a very short walk from two or three great restaurants and the postcard quality beach. The restaurant Jungle Love is a must - really incredible cuisine and a strong owner/host to guide the way.
We didn't experience the notorious dogs - they must have been kept bottled up. And the repetitive breakfast was not a problem, we eat repetitive breakfasts at home. The eggs and fruit with toast was filling and tasty.
We really appreciated Gail and Justine arranging tours for us, their recommendations were spot on. And we really liked the area - so much to explore, so much to do that our three days there was too short by half. Great hosts - if new to the game - and a fantastic new resort in a fantastic location, we highly recommend El Nido Cabinas. We picked it partly for the AC, and dithered about whether we'd really need it. We live at the beach in Southern California where the weather is always perfect. Sooo glad we did, the AC was an AAHHH moment every time we returned to the room.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Living_at_the_beach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2010

We stayed in El Nido for 1 night initially and really liked the place. The property has four bungalows, with beautiful finishings on the outside, ample room inside and a fantastic bathroom (although the hot water seemed available only in limited supplies). We moved to another location for two days, but decided to return to El Nido for the 3 days that were left on the the holidays. Now, this place has a lovely pool, but cannot be accessed after 8 pm and if you wish to go for a swim in the evening, you have to find the owner and ask her to switch on the lights. It is a clean salt water pool, well designed and comfortable enough to lounge during the daytime. When we went back and booked an additional 3 days there, we were allocated a bungalow with an air conditioning device in the room. A very welcome surprise, but at a surcharge of 10 USD/day. When I frowned my eyebrows at this news, my critical look was countered by the sharp remark that these things use up a lot of electricity... The room itself was great, the guests were friendly and every morning breakfast was served in the main breakfast area. Sadly enough after 3 days, I felt I was in "Groundhog Day", as breakfast was the same each morning.. When questioned the answer was.. "We strive for a generic breakfast ..." Eh, yes, 1 banana, papaya, pineapple and watermelon followed by scrambled eggs and 2 pieces of toast. When we requested some more toast, it was like we were committing a crime just by requesting, but got served anyway. Talking about crime, well, my biggest gripe with this place were the two dogs that were hanging around all day.. One of these dogs, the Staffordshire Bull terrier, was very intimidating, jumpy and nervous and looked like he was capable of taking an arm of with one clean bite. The other dog seemed more peaceful and friendly, but I had the impression the owner was more suitable to manage a pomeranian or a poodle as she was clueless about being firm with these dogs. The fact that they barked at me a few times too many and they weren't muzzled was a big negative. I did confront the owner with my grievances as I left and advised her to take some action. She seemed to take offense in my criticism about the dogs and when asked if anyone else ever complained about this in the past, her answer was only one woman said something, "but she was crazy"...

The room was great, but could have used a mosquito net covering the bed as mosquitoes we abundant in this area during July. The place is close to Punta Uva, one of the best beaches I have ever visited and there we saw a sunset that was out of this world. Puerto Viego is a cool place to visit. It is easy to get into the vibe of the the Rastafarian inspired town and if you have an aversion of Bob Marley, be aware and better stay far away...

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Thomas068
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Puracosta, Owner at El Nido Cabinas, responded to this review, 4 October 2010
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us at El Nido.

We have had several guests report that our dogs were unpleasant, and have now moved them to a new home.

We have one new puppy... a beautiful Golden Labrador, she is very friendly and is being socialized and trained.

We are also looking for ideas to mix up our breakfast routine. We currently serve juice, coffee and tea, fruit salad, and eggs and toast. But, we are listening to our reviews and will be adding more variety.

We thank you very much for staying with us, and hope you enjoyed your holiday in paradise!

Sincerely, Maitreya and Gail.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego
1 review
Reviewed 7 July 2010

We just returned from an amazing 8 day trip to Puerto Viejo/Playa Chiquita and stayed with our 2 young kids(2.5yrs & 1 yr old) for the entire trip. The property is gorgeous, cabinas are perfect, and the owner Gail and niece Justine were great in making our trip special for the family.

There 2 are two well stocked markets very close walking distance to El Nido to set up your cabina if you want to prepare meals from your own place. There are also several really great restaurants within walking distance. For lunch, jump across the street to La Biela and visit with Patricia. She makes really great guacomole, pizza, and margs!

El Nido's salt water pool is fantastic, always clean, and the perfect spot when you need a break from the beautiful local beaches. Prices here a higher than other places & this is something to consider. Breakfast every morning was very good, but always the same. It would be great if there was some variety to what was prepared to enhance the 'value' of the rate of staying at El Nido.

All in all, we would highly recommend El Nido & plan to visit again very soon. Thanks Gail & Justine for a tremendous vacation!

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank CATravelingFamilyof4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, Oregon
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2010

My husband and I stayed at El Nido at Playa Chiquita, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica for 9 evenings in February. It is our favorite hotel of all the places we have ever stayed.

It consists of 4 clean, well kept bungalows in the middle of a tropical garden with orchids, bromeliads, palms, ginger, hibiscus, and mature trees and palms. The garden was carefully planted to provide beauty as well as privacy, and each cabin is separate from the others. The bungalows have broad front porches, with hammocks and comfy chairs, so you can lounge in privacy, enjoying the many birds (including Toucans, hawks, and songbirds), butterflies in glorious colors, geckos, monkeys, and sloths. There is a salt water pool & jacuzzi in the middle of the grounds, beautifully done in mosaic tiles and kept immaculate by the staff.

Inside, the cabins have a full kitchen with oven and dishes, ergonomic & comfortable king-size mattresses, a couch/sleeper bed, walk in closet, and bathroom with big shower, nice vanity/mirror, and separate toilet room. The rooms are beautifully done with hardwood and tiling throughout, and gorgeous mosaic tiles in the bathroom. The ceilings are vaulted, with a fan that kept us cool. All windows are screened and we never had bugs get in. The showers were always hot as each unit has its own tank.

The staff, especially Gail & Sonia, were helpful, friendly, and informative. They went the extra mile to ensure that we had a good time, taking time to find out what sort of activities we like and then suggesting (and arranging!) excursions for us. They delivered fresh tropical flowers to our doorsteps every few days, and made sure we had everything we needed each day. The two dogs were friendly, sweet, and well controlled. The morning breakfast was a huge plate of ripe tropical fruit, lovely fresh local whole wheat toast, and eggs, accompanied by great Costa Rican coffee and local sauces & jams.

El Nido is perfectly positioned, with a number of excellent restaurants (La Biela & Jungle Love were our favorites), grocery & liquor stores, and wifi cafes nearby. There are interesting attractions nearby, including Chocoract (chocolate plantation tour) and the Jaguar animal rescue center.

The beach was a five minute walk down a pretty tropical path (all hotels at Playa Chiquita were set back from the beach as the government does not allow development within 100 meters of the high tide mark). The beach was clean, with alternating turquoise-blue-aqua waters; wading, one could see down 4 or 5 feet as the water was so clear. Walking south from the access path, the surf had coral reefs with tide pools, then several small sandy coves, then coral, and so on all the way to Punta Uva. We found lots of gorgeous shells including cowries, turbans, wentletraps, urchins and helmets. Water was warm, and the white sand was fine and soft.

All in all, our trip to Puerto Viejo was a wonderful experience, and El Nido was a big reason it was so enjoyable. We were able to go and experience all sorts of attractions, and then come back to the comfortable hotel, relax in the pool, and be pampered by the staff. It was incredible, and we are already planning how we can make this an annual event. We cannot recommend highly enough. We hope everyone can go and experience this for themselves.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank WanderingWilsons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Costa Rica
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2010

OK, let's start with the good because there are definitely appealing aspects to El Nido. The rooms are really nice (comfy mattress) with a nice kitchenette and the property is well kept and pretty. However, that does not make a place worth $120/night (which is the high end for the Caribbean). So, here's the not so good aspects: First, the pool closes really early (~8pm), which is not so nice when you would like to lounge with family and friends. Second, the owner has two dogs, one of which is very friendly; the other can be aggressive which is not so great if you have children (also stepped in poop once, which wasn't nice at all!). Lastly, breakfast was a joke. We were served fruit (which was nice), with an egg and stale bread. For $120/night a nice breakfast should be expected. We stayed for two nights and then left for Namuwoki which is right across the street. They provide a great breakfast, the price is the same and the place is simply amazingly beautiful. It is situated right in the forest and we had Sloth's hanging from the tree outside our room! Between the two places, I would recommend you go with Namuwoki. For what El Nido offers, you can find other places that offer a very similar experience for half the price.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank puravidamae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
USA
1 review
Reviewed 30 December 2009

From the moment we arrived we were treated like VIPs. We were given excellent advice on local restaurants, tours/excursions, and massage, and made to feel almost like part of the family for the week we stayed. Playa Chiquita has a beautiful, undeveloped beach. The rainforest along the beach has lots of monkeys, sloths, and birds. There are many restaurants in the area, with an excellent variety of cuisine, both local and interational. There are other conveniences nearby including Internet cafes, grocery stores, pubs, and souvenir/clothing stores, and yet it still feels laid-back and relaxed. I would definitely recommend El Nido Cabinas for anyone who wants a relaxing vacation somewhere off the beaten track. Nice pool and spa too!

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank OzV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Nido Cabinas

Property: El Nido Cabinas
Address: Frente Elenas | Playa Chiquita, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 9355, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #24 of 105 Speciality Lodging in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Brand New! Beautiful craftsman bungalows set in tropical gardens with salt water pool and jacuzzi. Bright and Spacious bungalows with king size bed, 300+ cotton sheets, kitchen and eating bar, TV/DVD, sofa bed, hot water and AC. Warm hospitality and full service tour booking. 200 m to gorgeous Playa Chiquita beach, 3and a half miles from lively Puerto Viejo. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Nido Cabinas Hotel Puerto Viejo
El Nido Cabinas Costa Rica/Limon

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