We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Loved Casa Viva”

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Casa Viva Beach Houses
California
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
“Loved Casa Viva”
Reviewed 23 September 2008

Our family stayed in one of the 2 bedroom houses for 2 weeks in August. In my opinion, these are not only the most beautiful houses in the area, but they are also the best value. There are 3 2-bedroom houses, 1 1-bedroom house, and a duplex. The houses (2 bedroom) have huge, covered, wrap around porches with ceiling fans and hammocks to relax in (try to get the one closest to the beach). The houses are on the beach side of the road, set in the most amazing tropical garden. The houses are also well spaced out in the garden so they offer lots of privacy. The gardener came by most mornings with fresh fruit and coconuts that he harvested from the garden.
We have visited Puerto Viejo several times over the past few years and have stayed at Cariblue (overpriced, but with a pool), Kasha (hugely overpriced dump!), and Costa de Papito (good value). This time we decided to try Punta Uva because it is more quiet. You do need a car if you are staying in this area. There aren't many dining options in walking distance. In fact, I think there may only be one, Selvin's, which is only open on weekends . The houses have decent kitchens, so we had breakfast and lunch at the house most days. We also liked going to the beach down the road at Arreciefe. They have a casual outdoor bar/ restaurant---good for lunch right on the beach.
The only negative that I can think of about Casa Viva is the lack of screening near the roof, which means that there is no way to keep out the bugs. We managed pretty well with the mosquito nets on the beds.
I noticed that there were 2 terrible reviews written about Casa Viva in July, probably 2 weeks before we were there. I was shocked and debated whether or not to write a review because we had such a positive experience there. However, the owner was on vacation during our stay. A couple named Alaine and Noble were caring for the place during our stay. They were perfect hosts. Perhaps the owner really really needed a vacation! Hopefully she is not always like that because the houses and the setting are the best in the area!

  • Liked — gorgeous houses and garden
  • Disliked — mosquitoes
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank greenyellowblue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

65 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    52
    7
    0
    2
    4
See reviews for
17
32
3
2
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Mountain View, CA
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2008

The proprietress of this place is outrageously rude and agressive to boot. It doesn't matter how beautiful the houses are (very beautiful) or how close to the beach they are (extremely close) because odds are good that you won't get to enjoy the place at all once she decides that today YOU are the source of misery in her life and she is mad as HELL. Plus of course if you want anything that isn't already in the house (e.g.an extra pillow so our baby didn't roll out the bed onto the floor) forget about it, and you'll get a scolding for asking. And if you need to use phone or the internet, good luck. And don't get me started about the laundry...

We booked this place for a two week stay, and when we checked in she was indifferent at best and pointedly rude at worst. When I pointed out that the filtered water pump didn't work she acted disinterested and then ridiculed anyone who wouldn't want to drink from the tap and huffily informed me that the tap water is safe to drink, it just tastes bad. Well, it does taste bad, as in MEGA bad, and since our diarrhea and vomiting started within 24 hours of checking in there it seems like bad advice to drink the water. In a normal situation (not in a foreign country stranded without even a rental car yet) I would have checked out the same day we checked in, but given the circumstances I decided to ignore her prickly reception.

Big Mistake. The only pleasant time we spent there was the first two days during which she was out of town. We just hung out and did our thing as a family and everything was fine. While she was gone the we could actually freely use the phone in her house, which is the only phone on the property. While she was there she only begrudgingly allowed us to use HER phone, and in an area where all the taxi and rental car companies randomly won't be answering their phones for hours on end, you need to have free access to a phone to try and try again to arrange transportation, airport hotel accommodations, etc.

The morning after she got back from her trip she came down to our cabana and accosted us with some crazy gripes about our laundry. She was so caustic and unapologeticaly rude that I feel like it doesn't even matter what the details were, there is no good reason to be that rude to anyone ever, and especially not when you are in the hotel business. My husband and I attempted to maintain dialogue with her but she wasn't interested in that at all, she just seemed intent on punishing us for phantom offenses to the point where we're not sure she is totally sane. In any case she is an angry person for sure, and not someone you want to have any influence or control over your vacation.

Needless to say we checked out that same day, which honestly threw our vacation into a hellish tailspin as we bounced from place to place until we could find something available last minute which sort of worked. Moving several times with a three year old and a one year old, in a rental car that isn't large enough to hold our luggage and our family at the same time, with vomiting and diarrhea persisting throughout the moves (DON'T drink that water) was, well, awful, and to my mind we have her to thank for it.

My other beefs with this lady include:

1. She has a large dog that she introduced to my children without mentioning that he once bit a little girl's face when she was giving him a kiss. I had to find that out from the maid while she was out of town (I decided to ask her while I was on the phone watching my three year old cozy up to the dog). So forget about using the phone or internet at her house if you have kids unless you want to get an ulcer or your child's face bitten off.

2. She said this was a great beach for little kids (Punta Uva). This just isn't true. There are many places other than this where there is a little coral reef that makes protected swimming pools that are shallow and calm and your child can walk about with arm floaties or a swim vest and be just fine. The best one we know of is in front of Villas del Caribes in Playa Cocles, so if you are going to the are with little kids, I definitely recommend you stay there. Plus there are REALLY nice there :-)

3. She said there were plenty of restaurants within ten minutes walking distance. Baloney. There are two or possibly three, which are often closed and one of which definitely gave my husband food poisoning. Another one she recommended turned out to be this loud bar that more like a thirty minute walk, not a ten minute walk, with only ONE thing on the menu, which that night happened to be shrimp cocktail and spicy shrimp and rice. OK that's two things on the menu, but to a baby and a toddler shrimp is shrimp and spicy is spicy, and to parents with queasy stomachs neither is appealing. Why would she tell a family with a one year and a three year old to go there? Again, bad advice. And since the restaurant thing isn't really an option without a car, when I asked whether the maids wash dishes as part of the housekeeping service, you guessed it, more scorn and ridicule, fun fun.

So I guess I would say, DON'T STAY HERE EVER, unless maybe she (Jeanie Waller) sells the place to someone who seems to care whether you enjoy your stay or not.

PS I got eaten alive by mosquitos here worse than at any other place during our trip. Maybe it's because there is no mesh connecting the walls and roof, just open space, so insects and critters can, and do, just come in any time they feel like it. As a side note, the sound of the jungle at night in this place is so loud that it honestly freaked me out, but I could see the loud night sounds being a positive thing for someone in a different frame of mind (maybe not sick and with two little kids).

  • Liked — The houses were beautiful.
  • Disliked — The owner was too rude to endure.
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank gyromama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SF Bay
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2008

Stay here ONLY IF you want to deal with a quarrelsome and hostile proprietor! The woman who runs this place is one of the rudest people I have ever come in contact with in CR. My personal experience with her was on the beach, in beautiful Punta Uva. She came over near my children and me, but without saying anything (a simple "buenas" would have been fine) she started looking at my bike basket, as one would do if she felt as though you had something that belonged to her. When I asked her what she was doing she yelled at me for using her private road to the beach, which was not true. When I asked her specifically what she was doing looking so closely at my bike basket she said she went swimming and lost her sarong. Why she didn't think she could ask me, I couldn't tell you. She left in a huff and I talked to my daughter about the importance of leaving a good first impression. Anyhow, my friends were booked to stay in one of the houses and so trying to give this woman the benefit of the doubt, I didn't tell them about this experience before they arrived. As it turned out, three days after they arrive, they were aggressively accosted by Jeanie about a laundry issue. Additionally, without apology, my friends were told that the house was not cleaned the previous day because the staff was so totally overwhelmed with their two loads of laundry. Of course, over email, it was confirmed that laundry service was available, but maybe to this woman that only means a little bit of laundry, like a sock. I don't know. Also, for parents with young children you should know that there is a LARGE DOG there who, according to a staff member, once bit the face of a young girl who was trying to kiss it. When questioned, the ever-so-belligerent proprietor said that in fact it is the responsibility of the parents to ask specific questions such as this. We have been coming back to vacation in this area for many years. There are so numerous other places to stay. Skip this one unless you are a glutton for punishment.

  • Liked — Punta Uva
  • Disliked — owner
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank coralpools
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, WA
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 September 2007

We found this place online, took a chance and booked it. We stayed for a little over two weeks, and we loved it! As many people book in advance, I highly recommend contacting the owners through their website and checking availability BEFORE you go.

This place is right next to the beach (don't have to cross a road or anything), and is on the best portion of Punta Uva beach (one of the most pristine beaches in Costa Rica!) with soft sand all around. We visited in September and it was fairly empty - often we would be the only people on the beach. Howler monkeys took up residence for a whole week of our stay in the trees next to our rental cabina, and I got great pictures!

The owners are very friendly, and the grounds/maintenance staff are also very dedicated. We rented bikes from another rental property right across the street, but the owners would let us use their bikes for short trips as well. The owners did not have a restaurant or food, but they did sell beer, sodas, and other beverages.

I liked the location as it is about halfway between Puerto Viejo and Gandoca-Manzanillo - so you are away from the noise but within easy taxi or biking distance. The roads are pretty terrible, and renting a vehicle is expensive, but I recommend renting bikes (about $4 a day) or scooters.

  • Liked — great access to a pristine beach
  • Disliked — there are some restaurants nearby, but not many - often have to go into Puerto Viejo for food. Or you can cook in the kitchen (in the 1 or 2 bedroom houses)
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank gellyrole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Feldkirch, Austria
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2007

We travelled backpack. Drove with a taxi and wanted to ask for a room. A very unfriendly person said to the taxi driver that he can bring us to another hostel. We paid the taxi driver and went to the next hostel called itaitá villas (very nice and very friendly!!!).

  • Stayed March 2007
    • Value
Helpful?
Thank 9teuferl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
23 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2007

Beautiful property with direct access to the beach. The individual houses are for rent by the day (3 day min.) or week and are sited with great care so that each has a private view out over the extensive grounds with the sea barely visible through a row of coconut palms. Our two-bedroom house had a wrap around vernadah with hammocks and a large table and chairs where we ate breakfast every day. The wood houses are beautifully constructed. There is a living room open to the kitchen, two bedrooms, each with direct access to the porch and one bath. The kitchen is fully furnished. Beds were comfortable. Abundant hot water. Great choice if you want to get away from all the hussle and bustle of Puerto Viejo and enjoy a spectacular setting with an incredible nearly deserted beach, practically at your doorstep. Good restaurants nearby. This is not a hotel but a beautiful collection of houses for rent with the owners living onsite.

  • Liked — Beautifully crafted house set in paradise
  • Disliked — If you want a full service hotel with a front desk to make all arrangements for you, look elsewhere
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank crfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Puerto Viejo de Talamanca hotels
0.0 mi away
Cariblue Beach & Jungle Resort
Cariblue Beach & Jungle Resort
#8 of 12 in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
1,021 reviews
0.0 mi away
Hotel Banana Azul
Hotel Banana Azul
#1 of 12 in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
1,452 reviews
0.0 mi away
Le Cameleon Boutique Hotel
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 mi away
Villas del Caribe
Villas del Caribe
#14 of 52 in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
155 reviews
0.0 mi away
Hotel Boutique Indalo
Hotel Boutique Indalo
#5 of 12 in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
233 reviews
0.0 mi away
Pachamama Jungle River Lodge
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Casa Viva Beach Houses? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 #62 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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing