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“a piece of paradise”

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The Toucan Stay Inn
Ranked #3 of 3 Punta Uva B&B and Inns
Reviewed 7 March 2013

The best B&B I have ever stayed in. This is why I liked it so much:
-beautiful and spacious, clean and tastefully decorated apartment style room,
- really comfortable bed,
-delicious home-cooked breakfast anyway you like it,
-well kept tropical garden, (beautiful flowers and plants, and a sloth even lives there!)
-the owner and operator Jon and his caretaker Mike are gracious hosts who go the extra mile to make your stay perfect (they know the area really well, giving you extra tips and ideas and making travel arrangements if necessary)
-complimentary bicycles, "boogie boards", beach towels and hammocks,
-really close to a safe and beautiful beach

A quiet, beautiful and tranquil place - I can't wait to go back!

Room Tip: If you want a beautiful cabin all to yourself, ask for the "Owner's Cabin". Complete w...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Helga S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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24 - 30 of 62 reviews

Reviewed 3 March 2013

This is a perfect B & B: charming, beautiful, quiet and in a great setting. I have travelled a lot and stayed at some great spots in the world and this is my all-time favourite B & B, #1 on my List.

Its about 200 metres from the beach, Playa Punta Uva, which is a gorgeous and safe beach. The owner & operator of the Toucan Stay Inn, Jon, and his caretaker Mike, really go above and beyond to make the stay perfect for guests. Recommending restaurants (Jon even drove us to a restaurant one night when we came home late from an excursion!), booking excursions and activities and helping make your vacation perfect. They also REALLY know the area and give you great "insider tips", like where the best spots on the beach are, where to see Howler Monkeys, or where to get a great coffee (or vegan lunch!) in Puerto Viejo.

The rooms are very spacious, very clean and come with all the comforts of home, including AC, fridge, toilets where you can flush the paper (a rarity in CR!) and large showers with plenty of hot water.

There are also so many amazing extras: complimentary bicycles with locks (great for cycling to Puerto Viejo or Manzanillo), "body boards" for body surfing at the beach, beach towels, hammocks...

The beds in the rooms are REALLY comfortable, they are either Queen Size, or if you are in the "Owner's Cabin", the bed is a California King. Huge. Very comfortable. I would compare it to a "Heavenly Bed" which you may find at a W hotel in North America. Soft linens and comfortable large pillows.

The breakfast is excellent, and served whenever it works for you. Jon and Mike make great eggs for guests, and way you like it, served with freshly baked bread from the local bakery, the freshest fruit (mangos, papayas, pineapple, mmmm) and Costa Rican Coffee. Really good.

The property itself is lovely, a beautiful and well maintained garden, with a newly built roofed platform for relaxing in your hammock, a new breakfast area right below a palm tree and a sloth that lives in one of the trees.

Its really paradise at the Toucan Stay Inn!

If you need more details, DM me, please.

Room Tip: If you want LOTS of space, book the "Owners Cabin" with your own kitchen, California King...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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Thank kattrins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2013

We just returned from a wonderful stay at the TOUCAN STAY INN. We found the TSI refreshing. A wonderful experience. Mr. Jon (the owner) is building a beautiful new gazebo out back which will include hammocks and a quiet tranquil place to read, meditate, or sit and watch the beautiful birds, sloths and toucans. We preferred the fact it is a few miles from town. It makes it so much 'closer' to the beautiful beach (about 500 ft away) There is also a store across the street which makes it so easy to pick up anything you might need. The breakfast was delicious especially the mango pancakes. While we were there Mr Jon was installing a whole new water system. I guess if you are looking for a WALDORF stay, maybe not there or anywhere in Costa Rica. However if you are looking for a tropical resort with Aar conditioning and friendly people. We found it at the TSI. Without a doubt we will be back.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank ThomHutchinsonIsland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2013

My husband and I just spent 4 nights at Toucan Stay Inn. We were rented the owner's cabin which we found was very comfortable and quiet. It was a bit more money than I expected to pay, however didn't mind because it was a vast improvement from our other nearby accomodation.
Jon's breakfasts were delicious, however I would suggest that Jon expand his repetoire to include other things, such as eggs benny or jazzed up scrambled eggs. I talked to Jon personally about this. I also offered Jon feedback about the owner's cabin in terms of adding more cutlery and dishes. I really loved staying in Jon and Mabel's cabin. In fact after being told there no room at the Inn, Jon offered his his place.
Should we return, I would really like open access to the kitchen to cook our own meals. Eating out every day becomes extremely expensive and frankly, I get a bit sick of eating out all the time.
In terms of Nick's review (Nick was there when I was there), I think he had some valid points. Nick's room was not good in terms of it's proximity to the road and to the garbage and I personally would have wanted John to put off the roof repair until his guests left.
My husband and I really enjoyed Jon's company and appreciated his recommendations. I find it hard to believe that Jon would have recommended Maxi's restaurant. I went to Maxi's 2 years early and found the service horrible and restaurant a bit grungy. I felt terrible that Kim and Nick got sick.
Jon also suggested a tour guide from Manzanillo (I won't mention his name). The guide took us snorkling and sea kayaking. While the snorkle was great, the sea kayaking was totally a wash- my husband's back couldn't handle it and the guide overstated this part of the excursion which was an hour less than he had stated, but still the same price. I really felt ripped off.
Anyways, I would recommend Toucan. It was restful and I felt very welcome there.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Kerri H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 January 2013

My girlfriend and I wanted an adventurous vacation on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica and chose the Toucan Stay Inn because of the awesome reviews posted here. Our seven-day stay wasn't what we expected or wanted.

First off, I'll preface with yes, most of these reviews are correct in that Jon's property is both safe and pretty. There is a lot to do in the area near the Toucan, as many others have noted. However, our experience with Jon and the Toucan Stay Inn was markedly different than the others who posted here.

During our 7-day stay, we learned that along the Puerto Viejo/Manzanillo strip, there are many other options in the area which are closer to activities, more affordable, quieter and which offered more personal attention. I hope Jon uses this criticism to correct these issues and to provide people with a more critical look at the Toucan Stay Inn.

Many of Jon's amenities were missing. The 'free' bicycles were broken, the WiFi either was broken or only accessible within a ten-foot radius in the patio. Our toilet was broken, meaning we had to smell our waste to reach around the tank to flush tne toilet. There is no cable, and the 'theater' had no audio. Our bedding was never changed nor was our room cleaned in 7 days. The bed quality was sub par and the television was the worst I've ever seen while traveling. Jon constantly reminded us to take short showers, as he runs out of water when it doesn't rain for a while.

Additionally, Jon was gone at the clinic or running errands for a lot of the time we were there, meaning we had to ask locals about bus routes, cab pick ups, etc. Many of the other reviewers said Jon took them to many of their destinations. He didn't offer that to us. He did drop us off and picked us up once, which was nice of him. (He also let us watch a football game in the main cabin one night which was also nice.)

My recommendation for anyone staying in the area: rent a car. Walking to Puerto Viejo from Jon's neck of the woods would take three hours (he's 7 miles from downtown) along a dangerous (but awesome) road. A cab ride is $20 roundtrip and the buses are intermittent and stop running early.

Location: We're pretty adventurous, but didn't like the Toucan Stay Inn's locale. If you're looking for peace and quiet, this isn't it. Jon's B&B is on a corner of a noisy block. Directly across from our window (40 feet away) is a market, so there are constantly delivery trucks and cars idling. Barely a minute goes by without hearing dogs barking, people chatting, cars and buses flying by or hammering and other construction noise. We also had to shut our window after a couple of days as there's an overflowing dumpster 30 feet away from the Jose room window where we stayed. When you walk to the beach access point, there are trash and locals everywhere, especially on weekends. You can walk past that, and a ten-minute hike will get you to some amazing quiet beaches.

Breakfast is underwhelming. We got pancakes and a bowl of fruit most days.

Jon suggested we eat at a restaurant called Maxi's in Manzanillo for lunch one day. NEVER do this. The service is horrible and we got sick. Jon made jokes about it to the other guests and told us the place got a lot of other people sick in the past. Why on earth he sent us there we'll never know. Then, during BOTH of our recovery days in bed, he hired a couple of Ticos to fix his roof. So there was hammering and drilling going on right outside our window. We couldn't even shower because they could look directly into the bathroom.

Jon spent a lot of time recommending his friend's restaurants, gossiping about previous guests or talking about himself instead of giving us practical advice on the local area. There is only one bank in town (a $20 round trip away), and the machines don't work a lot of the time, so getting cash was tough. Jon doesn't accept credit or debit cards, so we had added stress of making a trip into town to carry hundreds of dollars in our pockets to pay him the deposit. If you need to go into the bank, we learned the hard way, you need a passport.

If the Toucan Stay Inn was $30 less a day or if he was 3 or 4 miles closer to town, his place would get a recommendation from me. It's simply not the vacation peaceful getaway we wanted and deserved. I don't know if we caught Jon on a bad week or if he's losing his motivation as a host, but it was unpleasant. Hopefully, he uses this feedback to make some changes. (But the noise/location factor will never change.) The other reviewers must have received past personal attention that we missed or perhaps, they had lower expectations for their Costa Rica Bed and Breakfast experience.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Nick J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2013

There are few instances in one’s life when the phrase “better than chocolate” can be uttered sincerely. If you opt for the Toucan Stay Inn with Jon, you’ll find yourself reciting these word daily! Take my word for it, or rather two words for it: mango pancakes. All subsequent breakfast meals will be truly inadequate. I speak from experience. Culinary skills aside, Jon is an extraordinary host and endlessly attentive.

Upon arriving he greeted us as gatekeeper and concierge, already having lined up dinner reservations and much needed cocktails. On top of that, it took less than ten minutes for him to transition us from the tension of two days travel to Caribbean zen. Not an easy feat. But after all, we’re talking about a man that’s been charming the likes of cynics and skeptics since before the opening of studio 54, which incidentally Jon attended. It would be an understatement to say that he is entertaining and a disservice to retell his tales inadequately. He’s a tour guide, entertainer, chef and den keeper. And he’ll certainly keep you on your toes with his humor! Be sure to inquire about the in-house massage and movie projection perks. Don’t miss out of the smoothies and bird watching, and certainly break any preexisting diet that doesn’t allow for a little indulgence.

I could not recommend staying at the Toucan Stay Inn any higher. If you arrive with hungry bellies and a keen sense of dry-witted humor, you’ll never want to leave.

Thank you for the amazing vacation Jon, we miss you and Mabel, and I certainly miss your cooking!

- Rachelle Walker

Room Tip: José has a lovely sunroom but Hose B has a giant bed and you can smell the pancakes first, definitel...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Rachelle W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2013

We stayed at the Toucan Stay Inn for 3 nights this past November, and we have nothing but wonderful things to say about it! After we popped a tire en route in the driving rain and dark of night, Jon and Mike took in the exhausted and slightly frustrated pair of us, poured us a glass of wine, and immediately made us feel at home. Breakfast every morning was delicious (right next to hummingbirds!) - we were amazed at how much more natural everything tasted. Even though I did my homework and had a couple restaurants in mind heading into our stay, we ended up relying on Jon and Mike's recommendations and that was absolutely the right choice, as we enjoyed our meals each night. Since we weren't hugely fond of doing any exploring around the region after nightfall, Jon and Mike were more than happy to lounge at the table and talk for a few hours each evening.
Jon couldn't have said it better as we were departing - 'Once you stay here, you're family.' If and when we head back to Costa Rica, there's nowhere else we would stay in Puerto Viejo - why *wouldn't* you want to stay with family?

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Brian K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Toucan Stay Inn

Address: in front of the Punta Uva pulperia, Punta Uva, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 70304, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca > Punta Uva
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Punta Uva
Price Range: £70 - £86 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The "A Place To Flee, In A Garden By The Sea" All Accommodations have: Air Conditioning Ceiling Fans Screened Windows (NO MOSQUITO NETTING NEEDED!!!) Quality Beds and Linens Private Entrances Private Bathrooms Tables/ Chairs (Seating Area) Refrigerators Coffee Makers Private, Gated, 1/2 acre+ just 200 meters from the Beach!!! Come...Relax & Enjoy!!! (Free use of Boogie Boards, Snorkel Gear, Beach Towels, Hammocks) ... more   less 
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