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“Relaxing Jungle Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Casas La Selvatica

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Casas La Selvatica
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Relaxing Jungle Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 June 2013

My boyfriend and I were in Costa Rica this past January to celebrate my birthday and we had the pleasure of staying at Casa Mango. When we arrived we were greeted by the property manager (Valos I believe?) and given a tour of the property which immediately made us feel at home.

Accommodations were clean, comfortable and beautifully decorated in bright Caribbean style decor. My favorite part of the accommodation was the hammock on the patio which we really enjoyed after a long day at the beach.

Location was ideal - only minutes from the beach, grocery store, coffee shops and restaurants. If you're looking for a party place this is not the place to stay. It's quaint, quiet and low-key and located right in the jungle. Everything we were looking for in a vacation spot. If you're lucky you'll get to see howler monkeys right above you in the trees. Very cool!

Recommendations when staying at Casa La Selvetica:
- the Jaquar rescue Centre is a must visit.
- cocoa tour - learn all about cocoa farming and try some delicious hand crafted chocolate bars
- bike riding to Puerto Viejo - we enjoyed many beautiful bike rides into downtown Puerto Viejo. This is where you will find happening night life, great restaurants and shopping. Not to be missed.
- Ohm - chocolate bar, coffee shop and yoga centre in Cocina. Stop along the way to Puerto Viejo
- too many great vegetarian/organic restaurants to mention

We had the most amazing time and will surely be back soon.

Room Tip: Casa mango is great for couples or solo travellers. It has a kitchen so you can save money by eatin...
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank ColleenB1977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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26 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 May 2013

My wife, my 2 kids and myself stayed in the main house for 3 weeks in april 2013. First thing we noticed when we got there was that there was no pool. When we booked the house, the owners were advertising it with a pool but we got there and it has been change to a « frog pool ». We got a discount on our rental, which was ok, but it would have been nice to know at the time of booking… the kids would have enjoyed a lot the water, specially in the caribean heat…

Then there was a problem with the internet. We noticed that on the 3G key they gave us that there was a message from Kolbi, the internet company. It says that the owners owe money to the internet provider. That’s the reason the connection was down. We advised the caretaker about the situation and it took 10 days to get a connection back. Then we got a message from the owners saying :
« I think we must remember that this part of the country truly is very new territory - electricity only started to be brought in the area about 25 years ago! Because so many "modern world" conveniences are in fact present, it is easy to forget that Costa Rica is very much a developing country and moreover, the Caribbean Coast is by far, the least developed part of Costa Rica. For most of us, that is part of what attracted us to go there in the first place. For others, even a temporary disconnect from technology and convenience is difficult to deal with. I trust that most of our guests research the area before choosing to vacation there, and we have been quite honest in outlining the fact that the home is located in a less developed area, with the consequent difference in services available, when compared to North America »

(…)My girlfriend and I been travelling for the last 15 years, we’ve travelled in all the other countries of central america many times and been in really more « developing countries » then Costa Rica. Not to mention that I play in a punk band and travelled the world and stayed in real brown motels, squats, truck stops, rest areas, parks etc…
We rented another house in Costa Rica the month before, very much nicer then this one, for a comparable price, with a pool for the kids and a wireless internet connection. I don’t mind basic house with no internet and no pool… Just don’t sell it to me with these services and a boosted price if it’s not offered… Voilà.


Apart from that, the house is really nice, maybe it would need a little bit of a painting job here and there but it’s a lovely typical caribean house. The bikes provided broke a couple of times but the caretaker was nice and fixed them right away. Lots of howler monkeys, toucans, all kinds of birds, butterflies, spiders and… frogs around the house ! Really nice.

We recommend the Jungle Rescue Center, real close to the house to see all kinds of animals from the country.

Good restaurants / Bars in Puerto Viejo, which is 25 minutes biking distance, really nice beaches 5 minutes distance of the house and a beautiful beaches in Punta Uva, 10 minutes.

Corner/Grocery store 2 minutes walking distance : expensive, same price / higher prices then in North America.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank FredJacques
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CasasLaSelvatica, Owner at Casas La Selvatica, responded to this review, 25 May 2013
Dear FredJacques,

Thank you for taking the time to submit such a comprehensive review, and especially thank you for listing the positive aspects of your stay - very much appreciated!

We would like to take this opportunity and clarify some of the other aspects mentioned:

- we take full responsibility for the mis-communication around transitioning our wadding pool into a frog and lily pond. Unfortunately, we could have not informed you at the time of booking, as at that time we had not yet made the decision to change the designation of the pool. As explained in our communication we made this decision based on feedback from numerous guests who suggested that, given the proximity of the beach, the pool was not a necessity. We thought that a transformation which would make the pool an area conducive to breading of numerous endangered species of frogs would be a positive development. In your email indicating your disappointment, you suggested "some kind of arrangement" to compensate for that. We felt as though the significant discount we offered at that time, as well as the fact that we allowed an additional guest (who was not disclosed at the time of booking or thereafter), to spend a month in our home for no charge, would provide a fair compensation for this mis-communication. Your agreement to this plan confirmed to us that this feeling was mutual at that time;

- thank you for providing additional details, which were not mentioned before, about the internet outage. In your email informing us that the internet service was not working, you also mentioned that the situation was the same at the internet cafe next door. We followed up promptly with our caretaker and a neighbor, and found out that in fact there was an internet outage in the area, which unfortunately went on for a few days due to the Easter holidays. Our email which you quoted was written in this context, along with our explanation that the service will be restored as soon as the technicians will return to work after the Easter long weekend. The email was meant to help you understand the reality that in an area with only one, government owned internet service provider, there were unfortunately no other options in an outage. These are the local circumstances and we understand that they are sometimes difficult to deal with, especially by travelers coming from countries with numerous service providers, where 24/7 repair services are the norm. We feel as we have been very open in our advertising and pre-booking communication (including in the terms and conditions you agreed to prior to booking) about the fact that the standards of services found especially in this part of Costa Rica may be very different than the ones guests might be accustomed to, and we will continue to educate our future guests about this reality. Comparisons with other areas of Costa Rica (such as Manuel Antonio on the Pacific Coast, well known as one of the most developed areas of the country, where "western-type" services for travelers abound) may not be relevant given these fundamental differences.

Should the cause of the internet outage have been the fact that we had a payment overdue, this would have been an easy fix, if you would have informed the caretaker of the message you apparently received when you attempted to connect to the internet; however this was not mentioned to either the caretaker or us until the time this review was posted.

Thank you again for your note indicating that you enjoyed our home, the grounds (with all the wildlife mentioned) and also the activities and other places you had the chance to enjoy.

We encourage any future guests who might have specific questions about anything mentioned in this review, to address this openly with us prior to booking. We proud ourselves with excellent customer service and guest assistance, both prior to arrival and during the actual vacation, and will continue to work hard to provide services which are important to our guests.

Sincerely,
Daniel & Jeff
Owners, Casas La Selvatica
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reykjavík, Gullbringusysla, Iceland
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2013

The hose was realy nice - two brothers from Iceland and it was all most too big!
The shower dose not work like home, the toilet dose not work like home, the beds are not as comfy as at home, the insects do not look like home! Oh wait - I am not AT home!

Great way to spend a holiday, we cooked, bicycled around, took walks to the beach and went to organized trips also - had a great mix of experience from doing it our selves to buying a trip with a pick up and drop back service.

What to do -
I would recommend the ATEC tours, where you go with the locals - we went fishing from punta uva, took a trip with Junior to Bribri and a Canoe tour (all half day plus) and we loved it. We bought it in town - they have a small shop in the center of Puerto Viejo, that serves both as an internet place and selling tours.
We also took some package from another company in town, the trip was called an adventure package I think, it had f.e. atv, zip line, and going down a small waterfall that was cool also - the zip line were like 10 lines but if you just go for the zip line tour you get 21 but for me 10 was enough!
Where to eat -
We liked El Duende, it was open late, it is literally a 3 minute walk. Pretty good store although we did make 2-3 big shopping rounds to Puerto Viejo (old harbor market?!?) which is still just a little cheaper, then in Viejo they have a butcher - we can recommend you to take a look if you really like to cook home.
But if not - go to Jungle Love or Malbec or Pura Gula - all really nice, in that order, but stay away from La Biela that is a hole, buy beer play pool but not food. Also nice was the panther hotel place next door - went there and the service was awesome.

All in all - a great place - it rained a lot but that was just nice, we saw monkeys in the trees, woke up with monkeys in the night but only like twice, saw sloths and bird just next to our faces. The beds were uncomfortable for two nights and than my privilege body got used to them. The interaction with the owners and caretakers could not have been nicer.

Would like to go back!

gungun

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gunnar G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 December 2012

It was my first trip to Costa Rica and I chose Puerto Viejo since I wanted to see the Caribbean side of the country. I was looking for a simple and quiet place far from the people made noises. And I found it in La Selvatica. I rented a cabin, but Jeff and Daniel were kind enough to upgrade me to Casa Grande since it had no guests. There was a rain season and I done my research poorly :) I am very happy and grateful for the upgrade cause it made me feel even more comfortable in one of those days when rain was non stop.

Property located enough distance from the main road and it's very easy to get around by bike. It's also a great exercise for those who spend a lot of time in the office ;) Grocery store within the walking distance but remember that it doesn't work on Sunday. I loved going to Mazanilla and the park there is magnificent. Also make sure to check out Jaguar refugee center. I made my first close encounter with sloths, howler monkeys and tucan. Tucans visit trees around the house every day and it was my pleasure to wake up in the mornings with their songs. Plus going to sleep with the sounds of frogs in the garden. Make sure to grab a light and check these alien like creatures in the garden. Thank you Angie and her friend for showing me the frogs. Angie was a place keeper there. She is a sweet girl and it was a pleasure to deal with her and learn some Spanish since mine is at almost zero level. I also got an idea of how costa rican people live and how most of them appreciate the nature. Too bad she wasn't around when I left to say goodbye.

I loved the place and spirit of local community. I would love to come back in a non rainy season. Thank you guys for the pleasure of being your guest. 

Stayed November 2012, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank PavelN297
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria
Level Contributor
81 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 November 2012

We stayed here for 3 weeks in November, and found it to be a very relaxing location. It's a short walk from the main road, and still a walkable distance to the beach, eateries and little grocery store.

The house is furnished with all the basics, and the sheets and towels are good quality. The kitchenware supplied is enough to make simple meals, and the blender is very handy to make your own smoothies.

The fact that there is a washer AND dryer on site was such a plus! We were there during the rainy season (but still had plenty of sunshine days too), so it was very humid and things don't dry so well on clothes lines - that's why the dryer was so handy.

The 2 bikes provided were also very much appreciated, as we rode them to Puerto Viejo a few times, and even down to Manzanillo. Fun little outings.

We would frequent the grocery store (El Duende) to buy groceries and cook at home. For the times we did go out, we would have breakfast/brunch at Miraflores (yummy!) and dinners at Jungle Love and Pita Bonita (both great places!). Only once did we have the fortune of seeing Franklin (the empanada vendor on a bike), and his pineapple empanadas were delicious!

We brought our own beach towels, flashlights (handy for walking home after dinner - gets really dark out), and in this part of the world, insect repellant is a must - especially at dusk/early evening. For the bug bites you do get, bringing anti-itch ointment is a good idea too.

Not sure if we were there at the perfect time, but red-eyed tree frogs showed up on the porch a couple of nights. Very cool to see them up close (don't touch though because they're poisonous).

The jungle at night sounds just like a movie soundtrack, and that in itself was such an experience.
If you're expecting modern and shiny and bug/critter free, then this isn't the part of the world to come to, however, if you want to live simply, this is the ideal place to do so.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gb2308
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
boston
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 June 2012

I stayed at La Selvatica with my husband and 2 kids (4 & 1 yrs old) for 3 weeks in April 2012.
We thought the house was really cute and perfectly suited for our needs. The price for the rental was very reasonable. The owners of the property were very nice and responded to our emails promptly. It was very clean and well maintained by the property caretaker, Valo. He was absolutley wonderful to us, and is very knowledeable about the area, wildlife etc. I also I felt safer knowing that there was someone else on the property.
The house is situated on a quiet road off of the main road that runs thru the towns. It was very quiet at night, except for the howler monkeys! Hey, you are in the jungle! :) We saw the monkeys in the trees in the yard, as well as toucans, bats, frogs, lizards, & hummingbirds. If u love being surrounded by nature, then u will love this house!
Overall, the yard is awesome, it was very peaceful, nicely landscaped and the wading pool was perfect for our kids. Deep enough for them to stand up in, and also for us to dip into when we were laying in the sun. There is also an outdoor shower, good for rinsing off sand before going inside the house.
The covered patio area is fenced in, (another great perk if u have young children) and has a large wooden table and a hammock, and a fan. We spent alot of time out there, its nice if it rains too b/c u can still be outside, and not cooped up in the house.
(It does get dark at night as there are no street lights, so I would recommend bringing a flashlight)
It has 2 bedrooms, and a reading nook that also has a bed in it which is where our 4 yr old son slept, as the mattress was a little lower to the ground in case he rolled out of bed. It does not have a/c, but there are fans in all of the rooms, and the house is open air style so u really don't need it. In fact we usually shut off the fans before we went to sleep as the house cools down enough to sleep comfortably.
The kitchen has a blender, stove, refrigertor/freezer, (no microwave or dishwasher) but I am pretty sure those things are not common in Costa Rica. The bathroom has a stand up shower with hot water. All sheets & towels were provided, but I would recommend bringing beach towels.
The property has a washer & dryer, and our rental included 1 load of laundry per adult guest a week. This is great, especially when staying for a longer duration. The TV is small, does not have cable, but it does have a DVD player, so bring movies.
Also worth noting, our rental included a cell phone for local calls, and u can purchase a calling card for international calls & an internet conection for our laptop.
We rented a car, (pricey, but worth it for us with our young kids and tons of luggage), but the area itself is very easy to get around on buses or a taxi. The house does have a parking space which is nice. You are about a 10 min car ride to Puerto Viejo, and 10 min by car to Manzanillo. Walking to PV took us about 45 mins.
The beaches in the area are stunning, like u are on a postcard.
We went to the Sloth Sanctuary in Cahuita one day, (30 mins away) which I highly recommend, as well as the Jaguar Rescue Center, (5 min drive from house) also awesome.
The restaurant Jungle Love is in walking distance, best food we had while in Costa Rica. Be sure to stop into Tasty Waves for the $4 taco/beer Happy hour special.
There is a Pali (Walmart) about a 20 min car ride away, so stock up on groceries on your way there, alot of things can be cheaper than in town. The grocery store El Duende, (3-5 min walk from the house) at the end of the street was also well stocked and fairly priced. Around 9:30 in the morning they have home made pizza which was really good, and a nice lunch at the beach.
When in town look for the man with the gold teeth on a bike selling empanadas out of a cooler, they are $2 for 2, spicy beef was delicious, (another good beach lunch).
Overall we had a fantastic vacation, the house was everything we needed, and we loved its central location, we plan on coming back next year!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 420420
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2011

We really enjoyed our stay here. It was reasonably priced. We were at the endo of our 3 weeks in CR so wanted a place to lay back. thsi was nice. Even tho there were 2 rooms there was only the 2 of us. but there would have been planty of room for another couple or kids. There is another day bed and couch or some ne crash on if you had kids. The place was clean and well maintained. The pool is only 18 inches deep but woul dbe nic eto cool off n if you wanted but we did not. the big table on the covered patio was awesome to eat at or have drink. We used some candles and enjoyed drinking wine in the evening here. There is a TV but no cable or satelite hook up but there were several DVD's to watch if you wanted to. The kitchen is nice. No microwave which would have been nice but we did fine with the toaster oven and stove. There are 3 bikes to rent if you like as well. We walked alot and it is not far to the beach but it is about 15 mintues or so. We wished it was closer to enjoy more frequently. But the location is nice. It is well off the main rd and then off that rd again, but not far. This rd is a dead end so there is no traffic at all. The hired man was excellent. He lived in a separte quarters attached to the main house but with a totally separtate entrance etc. He did not bother us unless we needed something or informatin. He was great to contact a taxi, give local information and share a great conversation with. He was very knowledgeable about the local history, politics, and environment. The area overall is very nice. We went to Maaanzanillo and Veijo several times. It is right in the middle of the two towns being a little closer to PV. It would have been nice to be a little closer to P.V. to take in some evening events. But we could have easilly taken a taxi so it was our choice. The house area is dark at night which we really liked. ake a little flash light as ours came in handly to walk down to the store which was very handy to us. There are a few restraunts to enjoy within walking distance as well. Even though we woudl like to be closer to the water front we would stay here agian if nothing was available on the water or costs were too high. Pice wise we thought this place was ver reasonable. Again if you had a nother couple it becomes even more so. We paid $120/night in toronto on the trip down so $85 was good by us.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TJtrips5960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casas La Selvatica

Property: Casas La Selvatica
Address: Calle Selvatica | Playa Chiquita, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 7304, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #32 of 101 Speciality Lodging in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
La Selvatica is your home on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica. Our two vacation homes, Casa Grande and Casa Mango, are located in the quaint beach settlement of Playa Chiquita, just outside of Puerto Viejo, the happening epicentre of the southern area of the Coast. We are located in the centre of the "tourist" area of the Coast, with easy access to the town of Puerto Viejo, the surfing community of Cocles, quaint Punta Uva (rated as one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica) and the fishing village of Manzanillo, entry point for the Gandoca-Manzanillo Reserve. Our homes provide comfortable accommodation immersed in the rain forest and surrounded by wildlife, yet only a few minutes walk away from a picturesque palm fringed beach, grocery store and restaurants. The setting will appeal to the more adventurous travellers who enjoy being surrounded by jungle sounds, and having the opportunity to observe amazing wildlife in its natural habitat. You will most likely watch howler monkeys in their search for food, toucans or sloths right from the comfort of your patio. Our commitment to outstanding customer service is what differentiates La Selvatica from other vacation homes in the area. We commit to provide fast, effective and honest assistance from the moment you first contact us. Our homes are self-catering, but your bilingual host (who lives two doors down) will be present at check-in, and be available daily to assist with information and recommendations about the area, bookings for activities/tours and offer detailed attention to your comfort throughout your vacation. You will have the privacy that you desire, but have the comfort of being able to speak to a dedicated host whenever needed. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casas La Selvatica Costa Rica/Limon

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