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“Oasis of a hotel in Santa Teresa”
Review of Casa MarBella

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Casa MarBella
Ranked #1 of 26 Hotels in Santa Teresa
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
College Park, Maryland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Oasis of a hotel in Santa Teresa”
Reviewed 8 August 2009

I just returned from my second trip to Costa Rica, and the majority of my vacation was in Santa Teresa at Casa Marbella. My friend and I decided not to make any "plans" and just go with the flow, and Casa Marbella was the perfect place to do so! The hotel has a wonderful community atmosphere, as one reviewer mentioned, and owners Stephanie and Jim are both gracious and attentive. Stephanie was able to point us to the best yoga studio in town, which was a real treat. Stephanie and Jim recommended renting an ATV to get around, and after a little practice, my friend and I found it was the best way to travel the peninsula's roads. That said, do factor some sort of 4x4 or ATV rental ($50 per 24 hours) into your budget, and ask Stephanie and Jim for road-trip recommendations. We went during the rainy season, when everything is slightly cheaper, but the weather is still beautiful and warm despite the occasional storm.

Also, bring good walking shoes (I recommend Land's End trekkers which did the trick) and sturdy flip flops. I would also advise to bring clothes you don't mind getting dirty for day trips and the such. This is not a swanky resort town, but the energy it takes to get here and around are well exerted when you see the breath-taking sunsets from your porch. The suite with a kitchen was extremely convenient, especially for making our own meals with groceries from the Super Ronny. Furthermore, Jim is a great surf instructor, and my only regret is that I didn't take my lesson earlier in the vacation so that I could practice! I will be sure to spread news of this hotel to my friends.

As a word of advice for those traveling to Costa Rica (or any country really), it is important to learn basic conversational Spanish for directions, travel, food, or simply greeting the locals "good morning" and "good evening." Attempts at these simple Spanish phrases will be rewarded with friendly smiles, warmth, and helpfulness from the locals. Costa Ricans are some of the warmest people I have met in my travels, and as travelers, one should be mindful that you are entering their home and neighborhoods. It is not their responsibility to know English, although many Costa Ricans, especially in the Mal Pais area, are multilingual. It is the traveler's responsibility to learn Spanish. That said, I highly recommend staying at Casa Marbella in Santa Teresa. It's the perfect starting point to explore the exquisite beauty of the peninsula!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank NewJerseyGypsyGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (117)
Date | Rating
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English first
DC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2009

Mal Pais was one of our favorite stops on our Costa Rican Honeymoon... and Casa Marbella was the perfect hotel to enjoy the town, but also get a little tranquility up off the main road. But the best part was the killer view and the idillic infinity pool.

Jim and Stephanie were very nice and helpful. Jim's got a great selection of surf boards for guests - and it's only a short walk down the hill to the beach and some great breaks.

When we booked (3 months before the trip, but very late for the high-season) - all that was available was a single room. The suites are definitely the better option as we didn't have a kitchen... or more importantly - the beautiful decks that the suites had, but otherwise - it was perfect. I highly recommend this hotel if you are in the area.

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Disembarkin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belmar, New Jersey
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2009

I went down with my brother and our girlfriends. The owners Jim and Stephanie are very nice people and are very accomodating. Steph even baked my girlfriend Alisha's birthday cake! The hotel itself is beautiful and the pictures online don't come close to doing it justice. We stayed in the three bedroom luxury condo and it was fantastic. Very clean with a breathtaking view. I highly recommend Casa Marbella for a romantic getaway. The surf is fun and consistant, the beaches are beautiful and Jim and Steph will point you in all the right directions as far as where to eat and things to do. I cannot say enough about how happy we all were with Caaa Marbella. I look forward to visiting again for sure. Cheers!!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank yoflan77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Brunswick, NJ
1 review
Reviewed 23 July 2009

Nestled on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Casa Marbella provides everything one would want when booking a relaxing vacation. The proprietors, Jim and Stephanie, provide a great atmosphere to enjoy Mal Pais beautiful weather, exquisite scenery, and breathtaking sunsets. The service and amenities are top notch and there is no better place to stay than Casa Marbella. Hands down.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank badreligion0204
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Texas
1 review
Reviewed 20 July 2009

My husband and I returned about a week ago from our amazing honeymoon in Costa Rica. We wanted to be away from the all-inclusives and big resorts in towns like Tamarindo and near Playa Flamingo. I actually found Casa Marbella through tripadvisor.com. I don't know how we could have had a better time! From the kindness of the owners to the practically private beaches each afternoon...it was the perfect location to really get away and relax. We would highly recommend the canopy tour in Montezuma, go to the 10am one because you get to have a break in the middle of zip-lining to jump in the waterfalls and swim for 30 min. We didn't know that this was going to happen so my husband and I just jumped in in our clothes, which worked perfectly fine as well! But if you can, wear your swimsuit under your clothes. We told Stephanie and Jim the night before we wanted to go zip-lining and they got it set up for us. They also set up a day trip to Isla Tortuga for us. It was through a tour company in Montezuma and was absolutely amazing! The trip was from 10am - 4pm and included the 45 min boat ride to the island (which was so pretty!), lunch cooked for you on the island, and free sodas, beer and bottled water the entire afternoon. All of this was $40/person and definitely worth it.
My husband and I would highly recommend renting a car while you're here. It's just so convenient to be able to go out exploring and to be able to go into near-by towns like Montezuma, Tambor and Mal Pais without having to deal with taxis and shuttles, etc. Just make sure you get a 4WD SUV. We had a Daitsu and it was perfect! One of our favorite days in Costa Rica was the day we just went driving around and visited Playas Manzanillo (a MUST-SEE!), Hermosa and Carmen. Hermosa had the best sand and swimming in our opinions, but it's a walk to get to Hermosa and Manzanillo without a car.
We could not have imagined a better location for our honeymoon. Casa MarBella was perfect, the patio was so relaxing at the end of the day, the rooms were clean and spacious, the AC was so quick to cool down the room when getting back in the evenings and Jim and Stephanie couldn't have been nicer. We can't wait to take some of our friends back with us someday to Santa Teresa and Casa MarBella!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank costahoneymoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2009

Just returned from our trip to Costa Rica. Overall, we had a great time at Casa MarBella. The location is great, and the staff is wonderful. Casa Mar Bella is located at the top of a hill, with a perfect view of the waves on the coast. It’s about a five minute walk from a gorgeous beach, and small little restaurants. The rooms are always clean, and very comfortable. Stephanie is very conscientious to the needs of her guests, as is the cleaning lady. They also have a friendly night guard that walks around the premises each night. My only complaint is the untroubled attitude that Jim has. Hes a nice guy, but don’t count on him to make reservations for you. Because of the rain we put off our fishing trip to the last day. We asked him to make reservations for us in the morning, and he left to run errands without calling beforehand. We waited and waited, and finally asked the cleaning lady to call for us (even though that shouldn’t be something that she should be concerned over), but it was too late to go fishing at this point. Jim came back to the hotel in the afternoon and offered to make us reservations for the following day instead, forgetting that we were not going to be there the next day (even though we had previously mentioned that to him). Fishing was very high on our list of things to do in Costa Rica and we were really disappointed, but there was no use crying over something that we couldn’t change at that point. I would stay here again, but I would NOT count on Jim to make reservations for me. Ask Stephanie…

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank KLAFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 30 June 2009

Casa Marbella is indeed a hidden gem! I say it's hidden because the accomodation sits on top a mountain, away from the main street, so you can't see it. The hotel is quaint, beautifully kept, with a stunning view of the water, and by the end feels more like a home than a place to house luggage and sleep. We had a full kitchen, access to a pool, and a small deck off our room, which included a hammock and picnic table to have coffee & b-fast in the morning or happy hour one evening. We did both. Best part = The hotel managers; they are beyond helpful, not only do they help arrange fun activities (all of which are reasonably priced), but also offer great restaurant suggestions and places to go while in town. You have to visit Santa Teresa and if you do, you have to stay at Casa Marbella-- you won't regret it!

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank CO2NewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa MarBella

Property: Casa MarBella
Address: 125 meters east and 25 meters north of Super Ronny's, Santa Teresa 5361, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Santa Teresa
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Santa Teresa
#3 Family Hotel in Santa Teresa
#4 Romantic Hotel in Santa Teresa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa MarBella is a boutique hotel situated on a mountain slope in Santa Teresa. The property provides a spectacular panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and is a five-minute walk to the beach, restaurants, and stores. Being surrounded by rainforest, it offers a unique opportunity to watch wildlife in their natural habitat. The area is renowned for its consistent surf breaks, some of which are walking distance from the property. The Casa consists of eight units with four different typologies of rooms for your different needs and group sizes. It is an ideal venue for those seeking the privacy, services, and comforts of individual hotel rooms, yet the intimacy of a private villa. The décor of the rooms is a minimalist approach with a tropical touch. The amenities of the hotel include free parking area, Wi-Fi in the common areas, infinity pool, ocean view yoga deck, sun terrace, and reception. All of the rooms have ocean view and air conditioning. Services we provide include house keeping, massage, babysitting, and concierge where we can schedule an array of activities for no extra charge. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Marbella Santa Teresa
Casa Marbella Hotel Santa Teresa
Casa MarBella Costa Rica/Santa Teresa

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