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“near all the Matapalo action” 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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Hotel amenities
Special Rate
$115 (USD)
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
“near all the Matapalo action”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2014

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Casa Pina, and highly recommend it to others! Only after going to Ojo del Mar (a bit further away from Matapalo) did we appreciate Casa Bambu's great location - so close to the nicer swimming beaches around Matapalo.

Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
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162 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (23)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Boise, Idaho
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

We have traveled many places with our family, yet this topped them all. The lodging is exceptional, the guide (William) extraordinary, helpful and fun, and the cooks (Leda and Olivia) were superb. We did it all, from the night hike to the ziplines; Corocovada hike, and the rappelling-tree climbing adventure. It was fantastic!! You are right on the beach, backing up to the jungle--we saw monkeys, macaws, snakes, a tapir, a black panther, jungle raccoon--unbelievable!!! I would highly recommend this trip for families that want adventure, fun, and a relaxed atmosphere!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

We visited here last December and had an amazing time! We stayed in Casa Sonrisa which is at the top of the hill and at the same height as some of the trees. Every morning all of the monkeys would swing right by our windows. We also saw many scarlet macaws and toucans right at the house. The surfing was great and not crowded at all.

We did the Corcovado tour with William and saw even more wildlife there. This place is truly in the middle of the jungle and surrounded by wildlife. If you're trying to get away from it all, this place is paradise.

-Ben

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Richmond Hill, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2014

We stayed at Casa Bambu in March this year. It was the first time we had taken our kids on this type of holiday. We've always vacationed with family who live down south, or visited all-inclusive resorts. Over all, all-inclusives are not our thing. We find the amount of wasted food and lethargy too much to take. We chose Costa Rica because we knew it was a safe place to choose a "non-resort" and to explore on your own. Our children are 7, 10 and 13 and while their safety was our priority, it was vital that they experience a new environment and unique adventures. We were not disappointed.

Lyn provided us with service that I wouldn't even have expected from a travel agent. She connected us with transport, tours, information and suggestions. She did not steer us wrong once. Her support was invaluable and made me feel so much more confident about our choices.

We flew into San Jose and were met at the airport by a representative from Hotel Buena Vista. We stayed overnight in a perfect room with a massive balcony (we stayed here on the way back in a beautiful hill-side villa). The breakfast the next morning was perfect and we were set for the morning. We decided to travel from San Jose to Casa Bambu by car. We felt that we wouldn't have a real sense of the country if we flew from the airport to Puerto Jiminez and it was important to us that our kids saw the country in all ways. Lyn connected us with Solid Car Rental and they arrived at the hotel on time and with a reliable vehicle and appropriate paperwork. NOTE: a new law has been passed that requires all children 12 and under to use a booster seat. We had to make our first stop a Walmart (!) to get one for our 10 year old but if you know in advance you can request one from the car company. We ended up doing our grocery shopping at Walmart too, simply because it would mean one less stop along the way.

The drive was long but the roads were good and the instructions excellent (GPS a must). We arrived in the dark which was not nearly as worrying as you would think but we were glad that we the dark part of our drive was just the bumpy road from Puerto Jiminez to Casa Bambu and not the windy, unlit road leading in to Jiminez. Don't do that in the dark.

We were met at the house by Kirk, Lyn's partner, and he and William were very helpful with nload our things from the car. They even called ahead to Buena Esperanza to keep the kitchen open for us since we were hungry and had no energy to cook! I have to say, the best meal I had -there was at Buena Esperanza. To be in the middle of the jungle, frog-song deafening, having a cold beer and eating the most delicious seared tuna, was just astounding.

This review will be 10 pages long if I try to describe it all , so I will number the activities we did - all suggested and arranged by Lyn BTW:

1 - Ziplining & Canopy. AMAZING. First thing we did. Small group (we five and another couple). The three guys in charge of our tour (owner was unwell that day) made the activity safe, told us interesting things, and were excited about their tour. Even our youngest loved it after her initial ride down. NOTE: She was required to have an adult with her so she zipped with her dad. The views were breathtaking. Afterwards we had wonderful pizzas at their verandah restaurant. This is a must-do activity.

2 - Surf Lessons with Pollo. Really great teachers. Tiring activity! Wear long sleeves to protect the insides of your arms from the boards as you paddle out. You have two hours but our clan was tired after about an hour and quarter.

3 - Hike to the waterfall with William. He's a wonderful guide who clearly takes pride in his country and his environment. It was an easy walk and a lovely dip in a cold waterfall. Perfect way to break up the day.

4 - Golfo Dulce Dolphin Tour - This was really something else. We hadn't expected to be wowed (some reviews had said it was hot and they didn't see much ) but we truly were. The bow riders were a great thing to have on the boat and the kids loved taking turns on them flying over the water. At first we couldn't find the dolphin pod so we went snorkelling instead. We saw lots of fish and an eel and the kids loved this. They would have been happy with that! When we found the dolphin pod and the first one came close to the boat and then jumped up under our eldest son's legs, it was so exciting. They played with the boat, jumped around us, raced the boat - it was fabulous. Then came the offer to swim with the dolphins...another unexpected option! You take a board which is attached to the boat by a rope. You wear a mask and hold the board wile looking down into the water, and the boat pulls you along (cross your legs so your bottoms don't come off!). We saw 5 or 6 dolphins at a time playing below us, turning their heads to peer up at us. It was safe and thrilling and an experience to remember. Even our youngest got in the water with her dad together on the board.

5 - Tree Climbing and Waterfall Rappelling - This was so informative. We learned so much about the jungle and the environment. Our guide was phenomenal. Our tree climbing experience was exhilarating. I could not believe how BIG this tree was!! We all climbed, harnessed safely, and were encouraged at every step. Our guide knew exactly where we should put our feet and he helped us with a little tug when the step was big. Each child climbed (7 yr old got about 10 feet from the top!) and we all leaped out of the tree to be lowered to the ground. Our two older kids went with their dad for the rappelling (10 yr minimum to wear the gear). The waterfall was dry but the experience was amazing and thrilling. They were coached every step of the way and felt so good about doing it.

Finally, the house itself. We stayed in Casa Linda, closest to the beach, and it was perfect for our family. It is a beautiful house, well cared for and with sufficient amenities to make cooking easy and food storage simple. The beach was mostly all ours and while there are rocks, they made for exactly the right waves to play in! We went around to Backwater beach one day for a more sandy beach but either way the kids had fun. When on our beach we sat under a tree on the chairs available, steps from our "home" and in peace. It was wonderful. We saw Macaws, moneys, tapir, birds, bugs and a big sloth. The kids were enthralled. Was it hot? Yes. Humid? Yes. But this is what we expected and we did not feel in the least put out about it. The kids quickly got used to the early morning wake up of the howler monkeys, and used the early hour to see a beautiful sunrise. The early rise and the early dark had us all in bed by 9pm each night after a family game at the huge dining room table. Every day was full to the brim.

Kirk, William, Leda and Lyn from afar, made our trip so memorable. The kids are still telling their friends all about what they did there. Casa Bambu is a place where there is always something to do, or nothing to do, a place where our kids never asked for video games or "screen time", a place where we made some amazing family memories.

Thank you Lyn and Kirk for making it all possible.

PS
TIPS:
Don't drive too slowly on the bumpy road in. The bumps are far more noticeable that way.
Groceries in Puerto Jiminez were decent and people were helpful.
Ice in sawdust lasted the whole week. NOTE: You will not find the ice place in the dark!
Leave early from San Jose if you drive. Stopping for lunch was worthwhile but left us arriving in the dark.
Bring a Costa Rican Spanish English Dictionary. A MUST.
No one was bitten by bugs. We wore our spray once then gave up.
Some stings in the ocean. Little urchins and once a jelly fish tentacle. Bring Benadryl and Afterbite to sooth.
We each took Pepto each day to keep diarrhea at bay. Still each had a touch but could have been worse. The water at Bambu is SAFE.
We brought flashlights - one for each family member but didn't venture out at night much so one or two would have been fine.
Because it's damp there, wearing clothes multiple times without washing is really not an option. Don't pack fancy, but bring enough for each day.

Room Tip: Bambu by the beach is best for families with younger kids.
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  • Stayed March 2014, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisiana
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2014

This is not a place for everyone. I thought the lack of air conditioning was something I could adapt to as I have always done so at beach vacations but we were about 100 yds from beach and it was miserable hot the entire time. The kids were ok but the 40 something adults were uncomfortable. The cottage was beautiful, aesthetically wonderful. But fans were tiny, refrigeration was in a chest and it was limiting. And there was not a comfortable place to sit on porch.

The setting was fabulous and monkeys, wildlife were spectacular. Beach ok but rocky and a trek for an older person. William the guide was incredible and perfect for kids. The two ladies who cook were lifesavers, near, nice and great cooks. Get them as much as you can.

Driving was difficult. Two flat tires, rough especially without a spare.

All said, I will go back to CR, loved the people, food, scenery. And we will never forget this adventure. But I now know I am not adventurous without AC at night and a comfy chair!

Kirk was very helpful as was Lynn! And remember, I am an old lady!

Room Tip: If you have a family avoid the three bedroom with two rooms down, you need a key to move from down t...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Lyn Kirk U, Owner at Casa Bambu Resort, responded to this review, April 22, 2014
We agree that this place is not for everyone. It is definitely an adventure/nature oriented/ get away from civilization type trip. It is not cushy, but we do try to make it comfortable and most visitors find it so. We have hammocks and cushioned furniture, but again a bit different than the US and not as plush as typical furniture in the US. True there is no A/C as there are no walls – except when you lower the shutters. The outdoors is very much part of the experience, which allows for wildlife viewing from the porch and an overall immersion in nature at its most beautiful. March can be quite hot and sunny, so if you are used to an A/C controlled climate, that is a tough month to be here. Others love March because it IS sunny! Because everything is solar powered, our appliances are different. Our fans (except for the ceiling fan) are small but mighty – normally used on boats. Our solar fridge is chest style, large, and very cold, but a different style than a fridge in the US. Again, the place is not for everybody, but if you want a trip away from crowds of tourists and tourist infrastructure, where you can see all kinds of wildlife in their natural habitat and walk a pristine beach and often see no other footprints – you’ll love it.
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Ottawa
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2014

This was our fifth time staying in Casa Pina and it was wonderful as always. The lovely view of the ocean from the porch, the daily monkey visits, the morphos floating through the yard, and the macaws flying by overhead are just a few of our favourite things to experience here. This is a beautiful setting to see and hear wildlife. As usual, Kirk and William were friendly and helpful. One night Kirk brought us a freshly caught mackerel for our dinner which we thoroughly enjoyed. We loo forward to our next visit!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Columbia, Missouri
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014

The trip was fabulous in every way. The house was everything we imagined – it was perfect for slowing down and it was so compatible with helping us fully experience our surroundings. It was wonderful to wake to the howlers and the sunrise. (Its true - there were essentially no bugs and things really cooled off at night.) While there is so much to do if you're so inclined, we spent most of the time just hanging out, walking around - mainly up and down the Matapalo road – and going to the beautiful beaches, although we did drive to Carate one day. And it was great having William around for questions.
We saw howler, spider, and capuchin monkeys, and scarlet macaws every day, lots of toucans (my favorite), a sloth, and even a whale jumping in the gulf. My wife saw 45 birds new to her, including two types of the very impressive Trogans and a very rare Puffbird. She couldn’t have been more thrilled. She did go on a bird tour with Lapa Rios one day which she really liked. One of the most fun things was going to Martina’s. We made some friends there, including the bartender, and it was great fun to go there for dinners (which were really great) and drinks. The jungle during the day, and a friendly expat bar a night - it doesn’t get any better than that.
The drive up and back from San Jose was just fine. Per Lyn's suggestions, we stayed at Cuna de Angel on the way down and the Buena Vista Hotel near San Jose the night before our flight back home. They were both great, and it was convenient to be able to have the car picked up at the Buena Vista and shuttle to the airport in the morning. All the information Lyn provided was right-on and very helpful.
We really had a very special time. It was the perfect way to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Thanks so much for your hospitality, and helping us experience the Osa.

  • Stayed February 2014, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Cabo Matapalo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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