My family of four -- including a four and two year old -- had the pleasure of staying in the four bedroom Casa (up the road from the condos) for three months in the summer of 2012. After three months, you get to know the property inside and out and it simply becomes home. I could go on and on about the stay and the house but I'll stay focused on the high notes that folks are probably most curious about:
--This is a fantastic place for kids. The house is kid-friendly. Giorgia and her family are generous with stocking the house with kids books and toys. The outdoor area provides ample room to run around. And, perhaps most helpfully, Giorgia and her husband Gianmario have three kids. This means that they understands what you need and the kids, themselves, are great playmates.
--The pool is safe (all normal caveats about parental supervision notwithstanding). We bought an expensive pool monitoring system and never used it. Our kids barely knew how to swim when we arrived. They both made huge improvements over the summer.
--The house is very nice. It's not luxurious but it's quite comfortable and has everything you need. Yes, it does get extremely hot but the air conditioning in the bedrooms does the trick for sleeping comfortably. For those used to large American kitchens with dishwashers (and certainly garbage disposals), the kitchen is probably the biggest adjustment. But, we got used to it quickly. And, when it's hot, you don't want to be spending hours cooking, regardless.
--You don't need a car but it will make your life easier. We went the first two weeks without a car and managed fine on bikes, the bus (which is very nice) and taxis. Yet, having a car to go grab take-out or to buy milk is so much easier. We rented Giorgia's Geo Tracker for the summer at a reasonable price.
--Connectivity is good if you want it. We didn't spend a lot of time online or in front of the TV but when we needed to, it was important. While we were there, we "helped" improve the Wifi by making some gentle suggestions. You're welcome ;). The Satellite TV primarily served its purpose in providing periodic entertainment to our kids in English and Spanish while we cooked or cleaned.
--Samara is a unique place. So much of Costa Rica is getting built up and Americanized. Samara is a great mix between having modern conveniences and remaining Costa Rican. If you go to CR for a week, you may prefer a more resorty place. If you want a deeper CR experience, Samara is great.
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