Casa Islena is a gem of a hotel/ inn on a beautiful surf break. I loved my stay so much I am returning next month. The owner, Dario, is a kind, gentle person and very attentive to your needs.
The hotel/ inn has just 9 rooms so you never feel crowded. The smell and sounds of the beautiful, close ocean make the stay even that much better.
It seems like many of the rooms have two queen beds but I understand that there is at least one room with a king bed.I spent the majority of my time outside of the room, by the pool, or ocean. The actual room is fine but I wouldn't identify it as luxurious. The location and the people make the stay spectacular.
The location is right on "Parking Lots" surf break. You can walk to Sandy"s break which has a completely sandy bottom. If you surf Parking Lots just stay in line with the hotel as the bottom is mostly sandy but with some reef. The other surf breaks seem to have more reef at the bottom and have a longer paddle out so they seem to be for more advanced surfers. You can rent surf boards right by the hotel or call Melissa Taylor at Puntas surf school. She can also give surf lessons.
For the price, the place is spectacular. The restaurant there at the hotel serves breakfast starting at 8. You can get pancakes, eggs, toast or fruit. The side of fruit was delicious and fresh. They serve mahi over salad at lunch and dinner and the mahi is so fresh that it tastes like it was just caught.
There are a couple of glaring inadequacies for a place this nice and that is that the wifi is painfully slow and doesn't work in the rooms. Dario offered me the ability to plug into his modem to try to speed up my uploading of photographs to my computer. The second issue (for me, anyway) is that I am a naturally early riser and need early morning coffee. The hotel/inn restaurant is open 8-8 and the coffee isn't made until 7:15-7:30. There is no coffee maker in the room and no coffee within walking distance so I drove to Puntas Bakery up the hill a bit. That bakery opens at 6 am.
Rincon is a beautiful, laid back surf town where I feel like I can relax. Expect to drive to locations as not much is within walking distance. I did drive around looking for places with faster wifi and I was told by several different locations that the wifi works "sometimes". On my next trip I plan to bring a device called myfi so I am not dependent on wifi elsewhere. I hear that there is no Verizon cell tower and that ATT services works better on cellular. A local also told me that a red light is like a stop sign but I am not sure that this is true.
My food recommendations for the area:
La Coppa Llena at the Black Eagle
The couple who runs La Coppa used to run Casa Islena, but opened another place near the Shipwreck. It probably has the atmosphere/food combination in Rincon.It is home to Gringo Bingo every week ) I would give you an address but you won't need it. Everyone you ask will know where at least one of the places are...
One of the most popular bar/restaurants where you can meet almost every one of Rincon's characters at the bar.
Lazy Parrot and Rum Shack
It's a beautiful property to dine at during the night. Chris and Amy, the owners, are great. Restaurant menu is nice
This has amazing espresso and coffee and is THE place for a smoothie and a almond milk latte. It's closed on Tuesdays but a great place for breakfast or an afternoon snack every other day. It closes at 4 pm. The nutty dang is a very popular smoothie with peanut butter, banana and chocolate.
supposedly has great BBQ according to the locals.I did not eat there.
Puntas Bakery: you can buy groceries, pastries or coffee here.
If you ask a local they can direct you to a limber lady who serves this coconut icee for 80 cents. You walk up to the woman's home and ask her for one.
There are also food trucks everywhere to get inexpensive but tasty food. My favorite of the truck food was a pizza truck. The man who owns the truck grows his own vegetables. I am a really picky pizza person and this pizza was so delicious and was only 6 dollars for a mushroom pizza. it
is on 413. Take 413 towards the marina and it is right past dogman's deli.
Overall, I feel like Rincon is my home away from home. I can't wait to return there.
PS Don't leave anything in your car or on the beach as I hear that there is a high crime rate.
PPS If you are looking for super luxury you can try Characol che or the horned dorset but the room rate is actually 5 times higher than at Casa Islena