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“Fun, Relaxing, Owner and Staff Wonderful” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Pequeno Gecko Verde

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El Pequeno Gecko Verde
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Camino Buena Vista | Cantarrana, Playa Samara 50205, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 25 Playa Samara B&B and Inns
Jackson, New Jersey
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“Fun, Relaxing, Owner and Staff Wonderful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

The Gecko, as it is affectionely called by return guests, is wonderful. We stayed in the bungalow called Espavel. It was the only room w/o TV which is what we wanted! It was furnished beautifully and we were greated with fresh towels made into the shapes of swans using real flowers! Room is small but extremely clean and cozy. The outdoor patio is awesome. There is a ceiling fan which made sitting outside verycomfortable. The grounds are beautiful. The pool is beautiful and kept immaculate. We had so much fun with the visiting racoons and chuckled at their boldness to search for crumbs we may have dropped. There were 2 pizoytes (coati-mundi) that were shy at first but became friendlier for picture taking! They are so cute! Howeler monkeys kept us amused on afternoon with their non-stop calling! One day we had a lot of wind and owner, Nathalie, offered to move us into a much larger bungalow at no extras charge in case the wind was bothering us but we were fine. But curiousity got to us and we did check it out and it was lovely! It had a full kitchen and really cool indoor/outdoor shower. We feel that not many places would be so accommodating and concerned about our comfort as The Gecko did! The town of Samara is a short drive away and has a lot of good places to eat. Dana was great at recommending places to go and things to see. Nathalie told us all about the hikes around the Gecko. We recommend the hike to the"Secret Beach" - the sunset is gorgeous! But not recommended after dark. We also hiked to the top trying to find The Giant Tree but somehow did not find it but instead had the most awesome ocean view! We thought it was very thoughtful that the trees and flowers are numbered and correspond to a list that Nathalie gives you so you know all the names of the flowers, etc. The breakfast that was included was good. Basic CR food and with the most delicious fruit and ah, the coffee! The overall feel of The Gecko is calm, peace and serenity! I would highly recommend it!

Room Tip: Although I loved the coziness of our bungalow Espaval, I would recommend getting one with the kitche...
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  • Stayed November 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.
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211 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Antwerp, Belgium
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

We stayed here for 2 nights at the beginning of our holiday to relax and the place couldn't have been more perfect. The Espavel bungalow we stayed at was very clean and cosy, the hammock by the deck was great and the owners were very helpful. They helped us a lot in figuring out our itinerary. You have to take a car or cab to the beach (10 minutes or so), but we were actually happier by the beautiful pool.

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brentwood, TN
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

We stayed at Gecko Verde for three days while in Playa Samara and would highly recommend it to anyone lookling for a unique lodging experience. Three of us stayed in the Ylang Ylang bungalow. One bed (queen I think) and a sofa bed. The shower is open to the outside. I know it's not for everybody, but I thought it was awesome to be able to look up into the jungle canopy while showering. The last day we were there it started raining a little and a group of howler monkeys started shrieking while I was out there. It startled me a bit but what a great story to tell! :).

Each bungalow has it's own a/c unit and they cool the room very quickly. The hammock on the porch was nice and Ylang Ylang's proximity to the pool/reception area was very convenient. All of the ladies there were super accomodating and made us feel very welcome.

I cut my foot while on a snorkeling excursion and the attendant on duty at Gecko Verde was kind enough to track down a bottle of betadine that a previous guest had left behind. It was brand new and unopened and she offered it to me to clean up the wound. I know she didn't have to do that but it really personalized our experience and felt like one of those "above and beyond" things you hear about.

The taxi ride to the beach area is about $4 each way and the attendant is happy to call one for you. You can walk into town as well, but it takes about 25+ minutes and feels like FOREVER at night after a couple drinks. haha

The gardens around the property are exquisite and everything has a tiny numbered sign next to it. You'll find a list in your bungalow of what each variety of flower or tree is called. Can be cool to wander around a bit. My favorite was a flower that looked like a strawberry softserve ice cream swirl. The "secret beach" that you may have read about here in other reviews is definately worth your time. It's just gorgeous, especially at sunset. Be very careful though. There are some stone steps that lead down to the beach that are VERY slippery. If you go at sunset, be sure to leave before it gets dark so you can find your way back to your bungalow safely.

I hear that Gecko Verde books quickly in the high season, so book early if you'll be visiting the area then. Then come back here and leave a review about how awesome this place is.

Room Tip: The Ylang Ylang bungalow is the closest to the pool, reception area, and dining area where you'l...
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  • Stayed September 2012, 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.
Williston Park, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012

The bungalows were nested in nature and close proximity to the Main street and beach. Every night was a pleasure sitting in a hammock and enjoying the sounds and serenity of El Pequeno. I dream about my next visit there.

  • Stayed August 2012, 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.
Milan, Italy
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

A really nice and quiet place, all surrounded by Nature. People working there are very kind, always with a smile on their faces, starting from Nathalie, the French owner.
Because of the distance, probably we can't say we're going to visit THE PEQUENO GECKO VERDE another time, but it's something we'd really like to do.
Enrico Chiarugi

  • Stayed August 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

We stayed here in August and really enjoyed our stay. This hidden gem is really awesome and not so far from Samara. The grounds are really gorgeous and well maintained, the swimming pool area a highlight to relax while sipping on a drink. The room we had was clean, well furnished and light, decorated with good taste. Breakfast was included in the price and was delicious with a great choice. The staff was very kind and helpful.
We rented bikes and the 10 mns ride to Samara was very pleasant with fields, cows, horses and typical houses all around us! You can stop on the road and are pretty sure to see monkeys in the trees, even if you have already seen a lot at the hotel, it’s still amazing to see them so close.
We loved also Samara, you can take surf classes at the Choco’s school, do some kayaking and snorkeling to Isla Cora, or just take your time at La Vela Latina watching the local guys surfing…..
If you look for a quiet and beautiful location close to Samara, don’t hesitate to stay at El Pequeño Gecko, we definitively recommend it !

  • Stayed August 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2012 via mobile

My husband and I spent 4 nights here on the tail end of our 10 day honeymoon in Costa Rica. While we were greeted very pleasantly upon our arrival (and given a free cocktail) my overall opinion of this place was simply okay.

The location is wonderful - yes it isn't right in the heart of Samara but it is close enough to be convenient and far enough away to feel secluded. We walked into town and back daily and if it weren't for the rain/storms (green season) I don't think we would have ever taken a taxi!!

The hotel has an amazing pool, secluded and quiet allowing it to really have a paradise feel to it. The walk to the beach was ok, probably about 10 mins, but I wouldn't recommend it during the green season as it was extremely muddy and swarming with bugs. The rooms or little houses were cute and very clean.

Although we had a good dry relaxing time staying in Samara I would probably not return to El Pequeno Gecko Verde. The beds in the rooms are extremely uncomfortable - and I am someone who can sleep almost anywhere! (I was a competitive swimmer for most of my life and I slept better on pools decks than I did here). I woke up multiple times every night with different limbs being numb - hands, knees, elbows, feet. Very uncomfortable. The mattresses are very thin and caused both my husband and I to have severe neck/upper back pain beginning the last night of our stay until now (2 weeks later).

Finally the customer service was good until we were charged for another 2 beach towel rentals after I traded towels in for dry ones, not something I was aware of, and then they tried to charge us for a collect call we had to place to a US bank b/c an ATM ate one of our debit cards while we were over. The little charges build up so watch out.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
rebourg_family, Propriétaire at El Pequeno Gecko Verde, responded to this review, August 27, 2012
First I would like to thank you for sharing your comments with us. I’m happy that you enjoyed the location as well as the amenities that we offered- thank you so much for mentioning it first in your review. As the owner of the hotel, I still pay attention to the reviews that we receive and use them to point out to my staff the problems mentioned by our guests.

We strive each day to give good service to our guests with the clearest information as possible, like for services which are not free of charge. At the check-in or during the tour of each bungalow, our receptionists inform our guests that the list of the free and paid services is available in the room. They are also instructed to remind the guests the cost of the service before using it, just in case people have not read the document available in the room.

Regarding the international call, this service is normally a paid service but our receptionist forgot that your husband mentioned it was a free number, so she included it when adding up your bill. For reasons such as this, we take the time at check-out to revise the bill with the guests to be sure that we didn’t charge something we should not have charged. That’s what you and I did together, so when you explained to me that it was a collect call that was free of charge, I of course removed this charge from your bill and apologized for including it!

I would like also to respond to the paragraph you wrote about the quality of our mattresses. As an experienced traveler myself, I really pay attention to the quality of the mattress. Especially because my husband has a sensitive back, I know well the importance the mattress may have when someone doesn’t sleep well in their bed! My husband and I built and furnished our bungalows to make them the most comfortable style as possible for our guests, including offering high-quality orthopedic (a little bit firm style) queen-sized mattresses in each room, hoping this would satisfy our guests. We know also that we can’t meet the expectations of all our guests, as this depends on the desire and habits of each person.

In any case, I’m sincerely and deeply sad that you experienced so much difficult discomfort during the night while staying with us because of the mattress. Of course we would hope not to so poorly affect the end of your vacation. I would have welcomed the chance to help you with this if you had let us know something about it before the end of your stay, or even to hear of it the day of your check-out when I asked you how your stay was. I’m sure that we could have found a solution. We are open to the concerns of our guests, as we are people with only one purpose: to offer our guests a relaxing and restful stay !

Sincerely,
Nathalie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Pequeno Gecko Verde

Address: Camino Buena Vista | Cantarrana, Playa Samara 50205, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa Samara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 25 B&Bs / Inns in Playa Samara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Imagine a haven of peace in a tropical forest, at most 1,5 kms from the center of Samara and just a few steps away from a secret beach. The hotel entices people to relax fully. For nature lovers, discover at only 400 m by walk from the hotel, the wild Buena Vista Beach, a protected area for turtles reproduction and a spot fishing well-known by Ticos. For your well being. Where the noise ends, located on over half a hectare of giant trees and tropical plants, El Pequeño Gecko Verde offers you 8 luxurious and fully equipped bungalows totally independent, a huge turquoise swimming pool, a rancho for breakfast each morning and dinners organized a few times a week. Our facilities are guarded 24 hours per day. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
El Pequeno Gecko Verde Hotel Playa Samara

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