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“Virginians' January 2013 visit to Casa Son Risa” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Bambu Resort

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Casa Bambu Resort
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Playa Pan Dulce, Cabo Matapalo 0000000, Costa Rica   |  
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50% off Corcovado Tours
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Chesapeake, VA
1 review
“Virginians' January 2013 visit to Casa Son Risa”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

What a wonderful experience! We were amazed at how quickly we adapted to the rhythms of the rain forest and the sea. The sounds of the waves and nighttime rain lulled us to sleep, then the indescribable calls of the howler monkeys woke us to another calm and beautiful day. The beaches are pristine-- not a cigarette butt or plastic bag to mar the beauty. At times my wife and I and our two friends had entire coves to ourselves.

The exotic birds and animals (agouti, coatimundi, and monkeys were frequent visitors to our yard) were always fun to see. The area is a birdwatcher's paradise.

Casa Son Risa itself is beautifully situated on the edge of the rain forest. My wife, a masterful "everyday chef," loved cooking on the restaurant-quality stove in the airy kitchen, and the wood and bamboo construction of the house added a beauty we haven't seen anywhere else. Despite the fact that the house has no screens, bugs were no problem for us. We never saw a fly and were buzzed by only one mosquito when we walked to a nearby outdoor restaurant one night.

Kirk and Lyn, the owners, provided us with great information and suggestions on things to do. We felt that they cared deeply about our enjoyment and our satisfaction with the Casa Bambu experience.

Some tips: Follow Lyn and Kirk's advice about everything from hotels in San Jose' to market shopping to proper footwear. Their advice is spot on. If you like fishing, bring a decent rod and reel, because the fishing at Playa Pan Dulce beach was fun. Arrange outings with William, Kirk and Lyn's caretaker. He's a truly knowledgeable outdoorsman.

If you enjoy the outdoors, want to kick back and clear your mind of everyday concerns, Casa Bambu is a great getaway. We want to go back and definitely recommend it to others. --Gary Ball

Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
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170 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Fort Myers, Florida
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

My husband and I and two friends had the great fortune to discover Casa Bambu on our recent first time visit to Costa Rica. There are 4 bamboo houses, expertly designed, built and crafted by the owner, Kirk. We had the pleasure of staying in Casa Sonrisa which is the most private of the 4. It is perched atop a little hill, perfect for observing multiple species of monkeys swinging in the trees everyday along with coatimundis, agoutis, macaws, mariposas azul (beautiful blue butterflies) and more. All that from our porch!

The beautiful beach is a mere 3-4 minute walk that I enjoyed everyday of our 9 day vacation. Lyn, who is married to Kirk goes above and beyond as a perfect hostess. Once you confirm your stay, she sends you an abundance of useful information and ideas from where to stay in San Jose before and after we embarked on our trip down to the Osa, where to eat while in San Jose, transfer arrangements from Puerta Jimenez , what to do in the Osa, the list goes on and we were pleased with every idea that we used.

The Artisan market on Fridays was really fun and the meal we had while there was delicious. The hike to the waterfall with William was a big highlight for me in particular because the cold water provided instant relief from my sunburn. Make sure you apply and reapply sunscreen frequently! We also had some entertainment right on the property witnessing a monkey raid on a fellow traveler's house in Casa Linda, while she was busy taking pictures they decided to help themselves to the fruit in her house!

If you want to experience the real Costa Rica in style (not a fancy resort, but better in my opinion), the houses are great, equipped with comfortable beds, beautiful kitchens, all the creature comforts of home, except tv which we didn't miss at all, do yourself a favor and book your stay at Casa Bambu. We wouldn't stay anywhere else and we looked around while we were there. It was Pura Vida!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

We had a perfect Christmas vacation at Casa Pina - it was a wonderful place to relax and get to experience much of Costa Rica - up close and simple. We were an extended family of 6 - my parents who are both 70, my husband and myself, and our kids ( 9 and 11) who spent a week there. There was so much to keep us all happy and entertained - it was an ideal location for a family getaway - and especially for kids!.
Lyn prepared us perfectly for the trip, and was very helpful answering my questions beforehand, and helping figure out some travel details. All of the arrangements she helped with went exactly as she planned. Trust her when she says you need to stock up on groceries - you won't want to have to leave the house to make the trek to Puerto Jimenez just for that.
Our days were very relaxing, lots of walks to see all of the wildlife, hanging out on the balcony and just watching it all go by, and then of course we spent a few hours every day at the gorgeous Playa Pan Dulce, fishing, surfing and swimming. It is a bit rocky, but the water was beautiful and warm, and many times we had the entire beach to ourselves. I would take that over smooth sand any day! It was also fantastic to have the beach chairs, kayaks and boogie boards available to us - every day there would be people at the beach at various times, but I felt it was "our" beach as we had such easy access with those amenities. My kids rented surfboards and learned to surf on this beach - the waves were perfect for surfing, and also made it easy to learn to paddle out.
As others have mentioned, Casa Pina is more rustic than some other beach vacations, but we felt that allowed us to better experience Costa Rica, and the natural wonders it offers. Everyone in our group enjoyed cooking in the kitchen, opening and closing up the fantastic "windows", using the radio, using the Tico coffee maker, and all sorts of other unique experiences that we hadn't experienced anywhere else.
We did enjoy the Golfo Dulce tour, waterfall hike, and a couple of meals at nearby places, but what we will remember most is spending time right there in and around the house. As others have noted, William was very helpful, and Leda cooked a couple of delicious meals for us while we were there - which we would recommend. I miss it already, and I am already trying to figure out when we can get back!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
19 reviews 19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

Three friends and I (all wildlife enthusiasts!) just returned from a week in Casa Linda and it was just as the other reviewers have said - absolute paradise.

We were excited to see all four species of monkeys regularly (although the titis can be elusive!) and enjoyed a Capuchin raid on our kitchen. Lizards, geckos, iguanas, agoutis, coatimundi, possums, dolphins, pelicans, hawks, kites, bats, macaws...the list is massive.

The house itself was perfect for our needs. We each had our own room, with a couple of shelves for clothing and some hangers. The bed was comfortable, and the fan was enough to keep us cool enough while sleeping. The bathroom facilities were great. We only ever closed the window slats when we left the house for a long period of time - the breeze kept the house relatively cool and it felt almost as though we were sleeping outside. The kitchen had all the conveniences we needed. The fridge kept everything very cold and we barbecued a few times. There were electrical outlets, but not as many as one might have at home - bring an extension cord if you need to plug something in beside your bed.

There are all kinds of places to hike/walk for people of all fitness levels. We found ourselves stopping constantly to look at creatures we spotted along the way (we also had cricks in our necks from looking up in the trees so much!).

The beach was lovely! I swam every morning as the sun was rising (spectacular sunrises!) and we swam at night as well. The water is incredibly warm. I would suggest bringing water shoes as it is a bit rocky. At high tide it's lovely and deep just a few feet from the beach, but at low tide there's a bit of wading out as one might expect. I loved watching the pelicans and macaws and the locals fishing as I bobbed on the waves. There is plenty of sand and lots of shade. It is a public beach, so during the day there are often a few people around. First thing in the morning it was usually just me and maybe a kayaker or fisherman.

I didn't kayak, but there were plenty available and I saw several other guests enjoying them. We had fun with the boogie boards, and the beach chairs were comfortable. Kirk designed and built them himself!

Lyn and Kirk were our neighbours in Casa Bambu for most of the time, and they were simply lovely. If we needed anything at all, they were right on top of it. They organized our taxis and excursions which went smoothly (the boat tour with Josh is an absolute must!). The information Lyn sent us ahead of time was invaluable - packing lists, shopping lists, you name it!

Our travel plans went smoothly. We flew Sansa from San Jose and Lyn had a taxi waiting for us at the airport to take us to the produce market, grocery store, and ice store (Chon drove us most of the time - we loved him!). The drive to Casa Bambu is pretty rough - we saw quite a few 4-wheel drives get stuck coming out of the creeks - but our taxis didn't have any trouble.

None of us could think of anything negative that is worth mentioning in a review.

All in all, I can't say enough wonderful things about Casa Bambu and the Osa in general. I'd go back in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monteverde, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

We spent four nights in Casa Sonrisa recently, and it wasn't nearly enough time. The house was great, the beaches beautiful, and the wildlife spectacular! We really enjoyed the tranquility of the area and the simplicity of living "off the grid" if only for a few days. If you want TV and air conditioning on your vacation, this place (and the Osa in general) isn't for you. But if you want a chance to stay in the most beautiful and wild part of Costa Rica, in a house that really lets you feel like you're in the wilderness (while still having most of the comforts of home), then come to Casa Bambu. We certainly plan to come back. (P.S. Parque Nacional Corocovado is amazing, but the wildlife is just as good around the houses of Casa Bambu!)

Room Tip: Casa Sonrisa is furthest from the water, but perhaps the most private and with the best wildlife vie...
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Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jonesboro, Arkansas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

We stayed in Casa Linda in December, 2012. Great house. The view was amazing. The reviews written are true of everything we experienced. We saw 4 different kinds of monkeys, macaws, a Toucan, an owl, and lots of other birds; we saw a whale while deep sea fishing; went on a wonderful hike with William and enjoyed 2 meals cooked by the girls. We walked to the local outdoor bar/restaurant and enjoyed the camaraderie among the locals. We went to a delightful restaurant for lunch "just up the hill". We swam in what was like our own private beach. But the most amazing part of the stay was just relaxing and enjoying the wonderful bamboo house and the view from our porch. Lyn, Kirk and the staff are most helpful. It was a trip of a life time and we hope to go back some day!!!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012 via mobile

My family and I Visited this amazing place in early July and it was my favourite trip I have ever had.The jungle ended right next to the beach so you had the most amazing wildlife if you looked out the window you could see 4 types of monkey just swinging in the trees.The hospitality was great with Lin being very helpful and friendly and we had many long amazing walks with William (with William we saw scarlet macaws,toucans,sloths,parrots,spider,howler,squirrel,White faced monkeys).If you are looking for the most amazing family break this is the place for you!

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Bambu Resort

Address: Playa Pan Dulce, Cabo Matapalo 0000000, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Cabo Matapalo
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On a secluded five acres of pristine rainforest beachfront in one of the most biologically diverse areas on earth, this unique resort lets you escape civilization while safely and comfortably enjoying countless natural wonders. The property fronts on Playa Pan Dulce, famous for it's long right point surf break, an SUP surfers dream break. Located in the same vast rainforest as Corcovado Park, Casa Bambu Resort is on the tip of the Osa Peninsula, where the rainforest meets the sea. After visiting our house, Lonely Planet recommends Casa Bambu Resort as a place to visit. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casa Bambu Resort Hotel Osa Peninsula
Casa Bambu Hotel
Hotel Casa Bambu

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