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“Robbery at gupoint”

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Casa Viva Beach Houses
Reviewed 10 January 2013

My family stayed here the week before Christmas 2012. The houses, gardens, and beaches are beautiful. The owner was very helpful.

However, coming back to the house after dinner at a nearby restaurant, I surprised two thieves who were in our house. One of them was holding a gun in both hands pointed at me from about 10 feet away and told me something in Spanish then in English “don’t move”. I immediately turned around and ran out of the house telling my family to run. Later in the evening the police showed up but did not track down the thieves. They had stolen over $5,000 in camera equipment, a notebook computer, cash, and credit cards. The house closer to the beach was also robbed with similar items stolen in addition to swimsuits and other items. Later on that night, the electricity went out for most of the night – it was like a scary movie. We cut our vacation short and departed the next day.

The thieves entered the house through the only set of double doors (there are five sets) which was missing two security pins. The doors and locks were not damaged. We are suspicious that the thieves had access to a copy of the key to the house. The people renting the adjacent Casa Viva house that was also broken into thought the same thing. In their house, the wood window grille had been broken from the inside out (the wood pieces were on the deck outside, not inside as would be expected when somebody is pushing in the wood to break it from the outside, and the opening was not really large enough for somebody to crawl through).

The items we had in the safe were untouched. Although larger than many hotel safes, the safe was not large enough for all of the camera equipment and computer. We will not be returning to Casa Viva because of this incident. I wonder what would have happened if our family had stayed in the house for dinner that evening; would the armed thieves come in and demand our valuables? I don’t want to take that chance.

Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
14  Thank Carl C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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22 - 28 of 65 reviews

Reviewed 9 January 2013 via mobile

After our 3 week roundtrip we wantend to relaxe and experience the real holidayfeeling. The big nice house, great porce with hammocks and beautifull garden did the job for us. With the see and small beach with 40 meter are great aswel. What's nice is that you get the benefits of being next (About 7km) to Puerto Viejo and the silence of being outsided of it. Only thing, the see doesn't get quiet, nor can you put it out ;-).

  • Stayed: January 2013
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Thank R-le-chat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2012

We were in CR for 2 weeks, Spent some time inland then headed for the Coast - We had a couple of nights than we had to find a place to stay before heading to another hotel we had booked from Home. We got to Casa Viva had a look at the place and asked if it was ok if we stayed all week.
Jeannie said no problem so we cancelled our other booking and used our beachouse as a home base for the rest of our trip.
We loved it - Fire flies were fantastic - Howler monkeys terrific alarm clock - amazingly well build houses - top notch. Fun going out for dinner at Slevens & also terrific being able to cook in our beach house.
Its steps from a fantastic clean beach

Room Tip: We had house #2 and loved it Spacious - Quiet - Fantastic
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Don S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2012

This place was quite a find and stood out from other places we stayed in. Lovely cabinas situated a mere stone throw from Punta Uva beach in magnificent gardens. Very private and tranquill. The small 1 bed cabina we stayed in was beautifully done and furnished. I think there are just two of them, the only negative point is that they are joined onto each other - but that could be fun if you have nice neighbours. It has a small kitchenette, little fridge, comfy bed etc. The owner was not there during our stay but the Spanish chap, Francisco, looking after the place was super helpful, friendly and accommodating. Just loved sitting on the veranda watching wildlife go by. Top spot!

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Gerhard7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 October 2012

I really needed a respite after a harrowing year at my previous job. I knew little about Costa Rica and nothing about the Caribbean Coast prior to my visit, so I consider myself so lucky to have found Casa Viva! I stayed there for seven days and made forays into other beaches and areas along the coast. I soon concluded, however, that nowhere was as beautiful as the beaches and the grounds of the property of Casa Viva. I took so many pictures of the lush gardens and the wildlife, but they don't do justice to the gorgeous environment.

The proprietor, Jeanie, was an absolute gem! She was warm and welcoming without hovering in the least. She embodies that gracious, laid-back vibe that I found in abundance all along the coast. I must admit, that I had an awful lot of questions about places to eat, how and where to change money, where to find the best fruit and on and on. Jeanie took them all in stride and with good grace. Her suggestions were fabulous and helped to make my trip extraordinary. My experience at Casa Viva ranks as one of my all time top vacations. I've traveled extensively throughout Europe and parts of Asia and some in the Caribbean. But for my two cents, the only place that even comes close to the physical beauty of the environment and the graciousness of the people along the Caribbean Coast is Thailand. I am currently plotting how soon I can return.

P.S. One comment about the dogs- they were well-behaved and stuck with either Jeanie or the grounds keepers. The only time that I could get them to interact with me is when I was with Jeanie. As a dog owner of 14 years, I was pretty impressed with how well-behaved her dogs are.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled solo
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Thank AliciaD425
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2012

I know there have been a few less than stellar reviews of this place,but we decided to try it anyway because it is on the beach. We were really glad we did. Poor reviews have been related to the owner and her dogs. Don't go there if you are afraid of dogs or are afraid for your children around dogs. The owner's dogs were sweet when we were there, but they are dogs and if you don't like dogs then just don't stay here. We found the owner to be really sweet and well. She is pretty no nonsense though, so if you are used to being pampered and sweat the small stuff, then you might want to consider another place as well. This place is for people looking for a casual, down to earth, atmposphere in a beautiful setting. The grounds are fantastic and the wildlife viewing is great! The houses are made of beautiful local wood, with huge porches, and provide more than adequate acommodations. There is no AC and we had no problem going without. The daytime got a bit hot indoors, but outdoors is where you want to be anyway. We stayed in the one bedroom and it was more than enough space for the two of us with a separate kitchen/sitting area, bedroom, bathroom, and the huge porch. Our in-laws stayed in one of the dorms and the dorms are pretty small. I personally would want more space. The beach is steps away and is truly beautiful. It is not super wide right out front, although wide enough to lay-out, but widens significantly just a few 100 yards away at playa blanca. Selvin's restaurant is just a block away and has fabulous food. There is also a beach bar and restaurant down by playa blanca, which is also walking distance.

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

Though we only spent one night at Casa Viva, we will remember it for years. The cabinas are lovely, being crafted from local hardwoods. Our cabina was closest to the Punta Uva beach so we could hear the waves crashing into the starry night. Punta Uva may be the most beautiful beach in the Caribbean, but visitors practically have the beach to themselves. As we strolled down to the beach for a mango daquiri at the Punta Uva Lounge we stopped to see a troup of howler monkeys, including a baby. The grounds at Casa Viva are beautifully landscaped, leaning toward manicured vs. lush jungle. The on-property owner, Jeannie, could not be a more friendly and appealing person.
The road from Puerto Viejo, past Punta Uva, to Manzanillo was paved in recent years and feels like the smoothest road in the country. However, it is about about a $14 cab ride into Puerto Viejo - if you feel the need to go there. Casa Viva and Punta Uva beach may make you just want to stay right where you are.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Charlie Y
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

Address: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Hotel Style:
Ranked #63 of 118 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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