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“Huge on ambience, not amenities”

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Hotel La Costa de Papito
Certificate of Excellence
San Dimas, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Huge on ambience, not amenities”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 November 2013

First, the cons:
No A/C, icemaker, tv, radio, no refrigerator, no phone, etc

Now, the pros:
Bear with me, but those cons actually MADE the experience for us. We were without any modern distractions to take away from the beautiful jungle, the sounds and sights of it were enthralling.
Although a couple bungalows share a wall with another unit, the bathrooms were the rooms with an adjoining wall and we never heard a sound from the young couple that stayed next to us (Rob and Kate from Canada).
We were able to walk across the small road and be on the beach within 75 yards of our room, and even on a saturday around 1 pm there was hardly what I would call a crowd.
The breakfast each morning was quiet and tasty, with eggs to order along with some other good food and juice.
The bar was fun to sit at and watch a local band play, and the drinks were tasty there as well.
We spoke with the gentleman working the desk, who put us in contact with locals who took us out horseback riding on the beach and ocean/river kayaking for a reasonable price, better than what the travel agencies had offered. It was a great chance to see basilisk lizards, monkeys, sloths, iguanas, etc etc etc.
The town/shopping/bars/restaraunts are close enough to the hotel that you can walk there, but locals advise not to take the walk alone at night, as there are no street lights and tourists stick out like sore thumbs.
I didnt tour any other hotels, but from the ones we could see from the road, Costa de Papito is probabaly much more appealing than about 90% of them.
If i ever have the opportunity, i will come back and stay at this Hotel again, no question about it.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bart M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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663 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 (95)
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English first
Nuevo Arenal, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 November 2013

This is a really neat place to stay, with a beautiful tropical setting. If you're looking for a sterile, insulated hotel environment, then stay in a chain hotel. Our bungalow was open, airy, beautiful and very clean. It's like you're staying in the jungle. The location is great and breakfast in the restaurant was outstanding. This was my favorite of the three hotels we stayed in in the area and would happily go back again.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nik J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 November 2013

In short, the "hotel" is set in one of the most gorgeous places I've ever seen. It's conveniently located directly across from the ocean and in a town that is laid-back, fun, easy to navigate and just plain AWESOME!

The bungalows are great!!! Fit with a hammock, a table with seats, a porch, and awesome ambiance.

We stayed for three nights and the sheets were never changed, we only got towels every other day, and be prepared for the no A/C and just a standing fan. I sweat like CRAZY that first night because it's just as hot outside as inside, which wasn't very comfortable.

I'd stay here again though!!!! The bike rentals were only $7 a day. They're rusted and busted but so are most of the locals' bikes so it's no big deal and they'll get you to where you're going.

Just don't expect too many luxuries. When we were hanging out at the bar a crab walked by us! It was really cool to see that little guy walk by.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dana S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
La_Costa_de_Papito, Owner at Hotel La Costa de Papito, responded to this review, 18 November 2013
Thank you for the ¨awesome¨review! We have just eliminated 4 older bikes from the rentals and replaced them with new ones.
Sheets are changed on the third day unless a change is requested earlier. There is a notice in the bungalow that also says that in order to conserve water and reduce contamination with detergents (we use biodegradable) a new towel is given every other day unless requested each day.
There is a ceiling fan and a standing fan in the bungalow. We´ve had a few exceptionally hot days this year in October and November.
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Beaufort, South Carolina
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 November 2013

Don't even know where to start! What a fabulous place to stay. Everywhere you look there is something at the hotel to delight your eyes: the lush grounds, the wood and stone carvings, even engravings in the pathways! Just a brief stroll across the road to a beautiful Caribbean beach- completely unspoiled by commercialization or crowding- often we were the only people on the whole beach. We stayed in a incomparably lovely and very private bungalow with huge porch and hammock and a huge stone shower. There is a lovely spa on the grounds and the restaurant (also open air) had a great international menu and we ate very, very well at a reasonable cost. The complimentary full delicious Costa Rican breakfast included fruit, coffee, potatoes, pinto gallo, quesadillas. tortillas. pancakes, and eggs anyway you wanted them. The service from the front desk ( Henry, Marva and Kitty)to our waiter (Gabriel) to the landscaping crew were outstanding and the owners Eddie and Auxi were attentive and friendly. Now one caveat: if you like quiet air conditioned Mariott type hotel rooms with golf and tennis and swimming pools, Puerto Viejo might not be the place for you! This is a laid back community and hotel in a jungle setting with noisy birds and animals and grasshoppers and such! Our bed was comfortable and room was cool. We had mosquito netting over the bed but did not have any problem with mosquitos buzzing or biting! On the whole much preferred the Caribbean side of CR over the more developed Pacific side.

Room Tip: I didn't check out the other Bungalows but #3 that we stayed in was lovely and private
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mkfawcett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
La_Costa_de_Papito, Manager at Hotel La Costa de Papito, responded to this review, 18 November 2013
We, too, don´t know where to start in thanking this lovely guest! We work very hard at pleasing our customers to the smallest detail. It is so rewarding when people come and appreciate the effort.
So often it is a question of ´the right fit´with our clients and, in this particular case, they fit like a glove! As our client points out, we are not a ´Mariott type hotel...with golf and tennis and swimming pools´.
So, if the idea of a ´laidback community and hotel in a jungle setting with noisy birds and animals and grasshoppers and such´ with ´something to delight your eyes everywhere you look´, sounds like your idea of a great vacation, then, please be our guest!
We look forward to meeting you!
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newcastle
Level Contributor
40 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 November 2013

Firstly I'd like to mention that although I did not rate this hotel highly, I do think its standards are equal, if not better, than the others around the area. They all looked pretty much the same, very casual, very "rustic" and basic I suppose. My partner loved this place and so pretty much proves my point that it depends who you are. I personally was disappointed slightly. I will start with my negatives. The most significant issue was the bathroom. As others have said the water pressure was terrible, and as such you could never enjoy a good hot shower. It was more of a warm trickle and you really had to work to actually wash and clean yourself. Also, although the bulb in the bathroom looked bright, it actually spread no light, and as such each shower we had had to be taken in the dark as no light reached this area! As the sun goes down at 5pm, it meant every night we were showering in the dark shower room. I don't understand how this issue hasn't been mentioned or rectified before now. The other lights in the cabin were also quite dim, and noticing this problem mentioned in another review, and the owner replying the guest hadn't used the "dimmer" lighting correctly, we searched all over for this and there is not any in the cabin. We also borrowed some some beach chairs for a trip, and while this is a good service, one of our chairs was completely rusted and couldn't be used and the other was snapped and damaged. The others looked in similar poor conditions too, so maybe check yours before you gallop off to the beach only to find you have nothing to sit on! The way the cabin is built means it isn't easy to let fresh air. There are no windows to leave ajar, and the doors you can open are quite a hassle. There was one ceiling fan but this was noisy and didn't seem to be much help when in bed with the mosquito net around. Its really one or the other, but as we found there didn't seem to be too many bugs in the room so the net wasn't needed. I agree that this sort of accommodation is tiring after staying a few days. We stayed for 3 and I think that was long enough. Its essentially just glorified camping, and whilst this is perfect for some people, its not for me.
I wouldn't worry if you have booked this place, compared to others we saw it looked good. The restaurant was great in the evening and we had no problem getting a taxi to the town. The restaurant was not so good for breakfast though. Despite what it says online, there wasn't a lot of choice. There was only one fruit juice which was "mixed". Not what I like to see. There was also no hot chocolate as stated online. We did enjoy the french toast one day and my boyfriend enjoyed getting eggs cooked to order. The cabin was kept bug free by having mesh over open windows which is a good idea and worked when we were there. The hammock, although HUGE and hard to get in and out of, was a lot of fun, and the porch area was nice to have. Oh, another thing, we wanted to order a fresh juice to enjoy on ours, as stated on their website, but got told they don't have any and could only give us a fizzy drink. This coming from a hotel in a country as bountiful as Costa Rica for fresh fruit was terrible. I wouldn't stay here again, but then again, I wouldn't visit the area again.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank carlotta-ann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
La_Costa_de_Papito, Owner at Hotel La Costa de Papito, responded to this review, 18 November 2013
Only 50% success in this case. Her partner loved the place but she was slightly disappointed. Bad water pressure would disappoint me as well. We have done maintenance since on all the shower heads, cleaning out the mineral crystals that collect and impide water flow and temperature. The small spotlight bulb in this shower was burned out. The maids have been very good about reporting such problems over the years but we will do monthly inspections now as well.

. We have pulled from circulation the complimentary beach chairs we offer (no aluminum available in Costa Rica so the salt air damages them quickly). The one season lifespan chairs will be for sale again in late December and we will buy new ones for 2014.

I´m grateful to our guest for pointing out these problems. I have to disagree, however, and say there is hot chocolate at breakfast and fresh fruit shakes when you want?? Also, the ´glorified camping´comparison is a bit unkind.
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Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
56 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 November 2013 via mobile

Pretty sparse accommodations set in a beautiful jungle. Breakfast was really great and the front desk staff (unlike most of the other staffers) is very friendly. The drinks offered upon check in were a nice, welcoming touch.

But the bathrooms leave much to be desired. Our expectations weren't high to begin with, but shower pressure was absurdly low and the water waffled mercilessly from cold to hot. For the first 2 nights, sleeping lightly dressed in the room with the fan on sufficed, but by the third night, it was oppressively hot and muggy and no one could fall asleep as a result. Also, there's a lot of noise around in the early morning (around 6am, and even before): cars passing by, people in nearby bungalows talking and walking around. You hear EVERYTHING outside, so if you're a loud sleeper (or a loud person), be aware.

Bikes are available for rental (highly recommend doing this, it's a fun and easy way of getting around) but are kept outside, uncovered, so most of them are a rusted out mess that look about ready to fall apart. (Seriously, get those things under an awning or something - what a waste!)

All in, I'd be willing to stay here again, but I wasn't blown away by the accommodations and this place seems on par with the overall "roughing it a bit" standard that's common in Puerto Viejo. Don't come here expecting luxury standards, and you'll be fine.

Tip: Don't walk to/from town; get a cab. The walk is far and muggings are not all that uncommon here, especially after dark. Cab should cost around $4 ($2,000 colones) to/from town.

Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank KGSellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
La_Costa_de_Papito, Owner at Hotel La Costa de Papito, responded to this review, 11 November 2013
Our sincere apologies for the water pressure and temperature. The local water has a high mineral content and crystals form in the shower head affecting water pressure and temperature. The girls who clean are very good at staying on top of things but we are reviewing the showers in every bungalow to make sure they are the best they can be.
The bungalows are privately set apart so I´m surprised that this guest was bothered by people ´talking or walking around in nearby bungalows´ at 6am. A highly acute sense of hearing or some inconsiderate guests in another bungalow might explain this.
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Phoenix, Arizona
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 October 2013

we we enjoyed this place!!!!!!! the staff is excellent they have what you bikes beach towels umbrellas breakfast great location to the beach, close to the town but far enough that you can choose to be in it or not, its in the jungle so yes there are bugs but as long as you come prepared for the jungle you will be good,

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank trippinBAM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel La Costa de Papito

Property: Hotel La Costa de Papito
Address: Beach Road, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 10010, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
#3 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel La Costa de Papito 3*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Awarded 5 coconuts from Caribbean Travel Magazine for style, service and setting. Rustically elegant, hard crafted bungalows are privately set apart in a lush five acre tropical garden on the edge of the jungle. In front or the gorgeous white sand Cocles Beach, winner of Costa Rica`s blue flag for pristine beach. An idyllic romantic hideaway with a family friendly double occupancy price for a family of four. Que Rico Papito Restaurant specializes in food fit for jungle royalty. Massage, facials and delicious body treatments at our Indulgence Spa. Rest easy! Secure Lodging with Safes & Secure Parking. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Costa De Papito Hotel
Hotel La Costa De Papito Costa Rica/Limon

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