My husband warned me that telling too many people about Casa Cook would make it harder for us to book this amazing place in the future. I know he is right, but I have to write this to acknowledge how wonderful, perfect and incredible our stay was. We were there for 10 days, from April 16th until April 26th. We had originally considered touring the entire country, and only staying at Casa Cook for a few days. But after a long winter in New York, and a busy year at work, we decided that 10 days at the beach, just doing some day trips and getting R&R was the way to go. That was the right decision, and Casa Cook was the best choice!
Let me start by saying that this is a small property. We stayed in the Casita, which is the downstairs of the main house. There is also an apartment and two Cabinas. I didn't get to see how big they are, but the Casita was the perfect size for four adults, or possibly six, if you have small children. I would not advise six adults in the Casita, as it is not huge, and the sleeping accomodation for those not in the master bedroom are futons in the livingroom. It was perfect for my two teenagers. The Casita walls are typical Central American construction, where they only go up 3/4 of the way, for airflow. This allows for great circulation, but not a lot of privacy. It wasn't an issue, but just something you should be aware of. The air conditioning is excellent- we were comfortable the entire time. The place is immaculate, and the housekeeping comes everyday, and does an outstanding job- including washing your dirty dishes. The kitchen is perfect for vacation- exactly what you need, no more, no less. The water pressure in the showers is great, but the toilet is not the best- you need to flush it- A LOT! That, and the bed is my only minor complaint. My husband has a really bad back, and the bed was not the best for it. No box spring, and really hard. You get used to it after a few days, but those first nights of sleep are a bit tough. Besides that, however, the Casita is a wonderful accomodation, and we thought it was perfect for the four of us.
The location of Casa Cook is the best in all of Tamarindo. It is situated almost at the end of the beach. It is very private, quiet and peaceful. It is still close enough to everything in Tamarindo to walk, but far enough away from the town to not be disturbed if it is very busy- and boy did that help us during Samana Santa. We did not realize when we booked over Easter, that it is the BUSIEST time of year to be in Tamarindo. Samana Santa is the period between Holy Thursday and Easter when the entire country of Costa Rica has off, and everyone heads to the beach. Tamarindo was a zoo, especially on Holy Thursday and Good Friday (much had died down by Saturday). If we had not been at Casa Cook, it might have really made our stay terrible. But because of how private Casa Cook is, and because of the wonderful folks there, it was no trouble at all. The beach on our end did get a bit crowded, but nothing compared to the beaches of the places closer to town, like the Diria. Also, because Casa Cook takes their own chairs from the pool, out to the beach, there was never a problem having a lounge chair and a table to put your things on. They even bring hammocks out to the beach for you, if you like. Marie was there to tell us to stock up on alcohol, as there is no alcohol sold on Holy Thursday or Good Friday. Marie also made sure we had dinner reservation during the most crowded of days, so no issues there. If the beach became too crowded, you could always go back inside to the lovely, clean and refreshing pool in the courtyard, where there was total privacy. All in all, because of our choice to stay at Casa Cook, Samana Santa was no problem.
A few things to know about Tamarindo. It is a wonderful place with a special kind of vibe. It is not a luxury resort town, but more like a young, hip, surfer town. It is not cheap, although there are plenty of good cheap eats for those on a budget. The prices at the better restaurants were as much as those that I experience in Manhattan. I guess I am a bit spoiled living in New York, because we were a bit disappointed with some of the restaurants- but there were some standouts. Langosta Beach Club- just a few hundred feet from Casa Cook was exceptional. It was, by far, our most expensive meal in Tamarindo, but worth every penny. Gil's Place-FANTASTIC Mexican food, very cheap- dinner for 4 people for under $50 dollars, PLUS GIL, who is just a hilarious, warm, great guy, and a fellow New Yorker! Longboards (Hi Mark Brown!)- excellent, inexpensive BBQ Try their chicken! The best in Tamarindo!. Taco Stop- really great, fresh Mexican food, super cheap! Mondo Falafel was also fantastc and very unexpected! Pizza La Baoula was as good as any brick oven gormet pizza in Manhattan, and such a great place to eat. Very pretty setting. Notice the theme- with the exception of Langosta Beach Club, the best food was the cheap eats. We were disappointed with many of the higher option places.
I also need to acknowledge what special people work at Casa Cook. I have mentioned Marie. She is AMAZING, WONDERFUL and BEAUTIFUL! She is like a long lost friend on vacation. From the first time that I inquired about a stay, until the day that we left, she handled everything! She is really the heart of Casa Cook, and she is the person who makes every part of your stay magical. Thanks for everything, Marie. We love you, and everytime I wear my necklace, I think of you...necklace twin! Antonio is a gem! He was the first person who we met when we got there, and he couldn't do enough for us. He basically takes care of everything on the grounds, he brings your chairs out to the beach, and he is always looking for monkeys, iguanas and other animals to show you and the kids. He is a wonderful, special human being, and very proud to tell you that he has been with Casa Cook for 16 years. After you meet Antonio, you'll understand why. When Antonio is not there, Ignacio is, and he is also a wonderful man. He does not speak English, but he had fun teaching me Spanish, and I had fun learning. I was also THRILLED that I got to meet Ruth Ann, the owner, my last two days that we were there. She had been in the US prior, so I was afraid we were not going to get to meet her and thank her for our stay. She is a retired educator, as was her husband. Since we are also educators, this was like the icing on the cake for us! She is a funny, warm ,lovely lady who really cared that our stay was perfect. I so enjoyed meeting and talking to her. Thank you, ALL, at Casa Cook for the most enjoyable 10 days of our lives. We are seasoned travelers, and have been everywhere. We rarely consider going back to any place twice, since there is so much to see in the world, but I PROMISE that we will be coming back to Tamarindo and Casa Cook. In all of our years traveling, and all of the places we've traveled to, this was our favorite vacation EVER, and it was because of all of you! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the vacation of a lifetime!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.