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“Paradise!”

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Casa Viva Beach Houses
Richmond, Virginia, United States
Level Contributor
56 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Paradise!”
Reviewed 12 February 2012

My friend's daughter works near Casa Viva and booked this for us because she knew it had nice cabinas at a reasonable price. Because of the low price I wasn't expecting much. Every view around the property is a picture perfect scene. I could not stop taking photos! Our cabina
was the closet to the sea and had a beautiful porch with a hammock. The grounds workers brought us fresh coconuts and leache?sp? fruit in the morning (no charge). He cut it open and added a straw, it was very refreshing! I will add some photos but the ones on this site look just like mine. The monkeys were out with us every morning.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mary B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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65 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London
Level Contributor
47 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2012

We booked Casa Viva because it looked like a lovely place to spend Christmas - but we were still overwhelmed by how nice the cabin and the setting was. The cabin had everything we needed plus some nice touches like bouquets of flowers on the balcony, hammocks, a water tank, welcome drinks in the fridge and books. The cabin was set in lovely gardens right in the jungle (we saw and heard howler monkeys) yet we could still see and hear the ocean from our patio. In fact the beach was less than 50 metres from our door. Despite being quite isolated between Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo, there is a bike hire place nearby, a restuarant and small shop - and a taxi to either town only takes 10 minutes. We hired bikes - it took about 20 minutes to ride to Puerto Viejo. We also rode to the nearby Jaguar rescue centre which was amazing (tours at 9.30am and 11.30am - no signs are up outside after this). The only slight negatives were the shower and the wifi, which weren't great. As you'd expect in the jungle, we had a few visitors in the evenings like small lizards on the ceiling, insects (not spiders!) and bats, which didn't faze us. The bed was well covered by a mosquito net. Overall, we were thrilled with Casa Viva - great value and a lovely place to stay.

Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank JimR1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Framingham, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 December 2011

We went to this place on recommendation from a friend. The place itself was gorgeous. Very basic house, but the grounds are beautiful and the beach is fantastic. We have a family of 4, with 2 kids, who were 1 and 4 at the time. The proprietor has a dog, a rotweiler, which when I saw it made me nervous, but she assured me that the dog wouldn't cause any problems. Also, we had read the reviews here and it made us more comfortable that that was the case. Well, we were wrong.

My wife went down around dusk to throw out a bag of garbage. As she was walking down the path towards the main steet, the dog ran at her and bit her on the leg. Fortunately, it only intended on scaring her and didn't really bite down, but enough to rip my wife's pants, break the skin and scare the daylights out of her. Once I calmed her down, I went down to speak with the proprieter who was very dismissive and not at all apologetic. I wasn't expecting anything, but a little bit of compassion would have gone a long way. I can't even imagine how much more upset I would have been if one of my kids were injured.

The place is absolute paradise, with beautiful grounds, a beautiful beach, howler monkeys in the trees, fresh fruit in the morning, etc., but be wary of both the dog and the care-free nature of the proprietor.

Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
Helpful?
11 Thank JonH993
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 September 2011

Casa Viva is beautiful....just a small number of beach houses far from one another on a large beach front parcel with gorgeous grounds. Howler monkeys reside in the tall trees, and a sloth visited on occasion. The house itself is charming--warm wood, nice kitchen, and huge wrap-around porch for dining, hammocking etc. A few dozen meters to the beach, with clear water, great views, and a nice walk down to an end with a small bar/restaurant and kayak rentals. Not crowded on the beach at all, but still lots of human, dog and animal life to watch and enjoy.

Only negatives were that we had to ask to have the trash and compost taken out, and the drinking water refilled. Bedrooms are small and due to design require sleeping under mosquito netting. Air circulation at night isn't great. We were cooking most of our own meals, but did not have a car. Groceries were out of walking distance and a little challenging.

We enjoyed a morning trip to Manzanillo for snorkeling and a day trip up to the nearby hills for a visit with an indigenous family which included a nice stop to the Puerto Viejo Farmers Market.

Overall, extremely beautiful hotel in an extremely beautiful location. Very laid back vibe to the whole thing--extremely relaxing.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Greg G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2011

Casa Vida has 5 cottages plus the house where Jean Waller lives. They are well spaced out so you don’t see the other buildings. The grounds are beautifully planted and well maintained. The houses are made out of lovely wood, simple in design but well furnished. Mosquito nets are provided. They are self-catering. All the basic kitchen equipment is provided. There’s a shop 5 minutes’ drive away run by a Swiss guy who lives in the area which has all the basics. It’s a bit pricy so consider buying a few basics in San Jose before you set off. There are plenty of places to eat out if you don’t want to cook.

The beach is idyllic – stunningly beautiful. Beach towels are provided. The beach is at the end of the garden. The area has a rule – nothing can be built within 50 metres of the shore. So when you’re on the beach you can’t see ANY buildings.
We thought Jean was a very helpful person - she helped us arrange a guide for the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Reserve ( His name was Florentino -excellent)

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PixelDad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
durham, nc
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2011

This place is absolutely gorgeous! Gorgeous wooden cabins set amongst tropical gardens teeming with ferns, bromeliads, helioconia, and coconut palms (to name just a few). This is the perfect place to plunk down and set up a base for whatever type of vacation you like to have. Punta Uva beach is right in front of Casa Viva - it's gorgeous with translucent green waves that are great for body surfing or go beyond them to float in the water.
Just down the road from Casa Viva is Lucy Tours where you can rent beach cruisers to tool around on. It's a really nice ride to Manzanillo or to Puerto Viejo, but be sure to bring a good light with you to navigate the road in the dark!
Almost every morning, the gardener at Casa Viva would bring by a wheelbarrow with fresh pippa (coconut), take his machete out and expertly whack off the top, handing them up to us with a straw. Yummy!! We loved it so much.
We'd walk down to Selvin's Soda on Friday (they're open Friday thru Sun) and get a bowl of the BEST Rondon in the area and Pargo a la Parilla (grilled Red Snapper) .
Thanks Jeannie! We'll be back and we'll bring friends!

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank dollymama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2011

This was out dream vacation. We planned to spend 1 month visiting several areas of the country to try to get a feel for where we liked best.. The intention being to return another time and know where we preferred to spend our vacation...(.this time in one location.)

Out of 6 vacation spots (La Fortuna, Monteverde, Dominical, Manuel Antonio, Alejuela, and Punta Uva) Casa Viva gets our unanimous vote for our favourite spot.

We prefer vacation spots that are not crowded or "touristy ". These cabinas are beautiful, roomy and great value. We loved the jungle setting and the sense of privacy on beautifully landscaped property.

The beach was very nice. We walked it every morning and afternoon. We were able to access the Internet freely from the communal area of the main house. We had a constant supply of bottled water supplied (the tap water had a strong iron taste). We found the owner (Jeannie Waller) and her staff VERY friendly and accommodating... The gardener brought us fresh coconuts every day, which I really miss, BTW

It is very hard to get back into gear after a week of lying in the hammock on the porch and listening to the waves crashing, the howler monkeys communicating in the almond trees and just contemplating life......

The only drawback would be the drive/ride to Punta Uva from San Jose. The road is not the best for about the last hour of the trip. Having said that...we are already planning out next trip to Casa Viva. I am sure it will be within the next 12 months. The sooner the better.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Marj S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa Viva Beach Houses

Property: Casa Viva Beach Houses
Address: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Hotel Style:
Ranked #60 of 105 Speciality Lodging in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Number of rooms: 3
Also Known As:
Casa Viva Beach Houses Hotel Puerto Viejo
Casa Viva Beach Houses Costa Rica/Limon

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