I took my wife to Tamarindo a couple of weeks ago for a very significant Birthday. For the first time in our travels together she said...When can we come back? And this was only a few days into our week long stay. She also said...Best Birthday Ever!!! As much as I like to think it was me- I think she fell in love with the warm water, beautiful beach, and as she describes it- Sunset Ceremony. Cocktails on the beach at sundown every night of our stay. Sunsets all amazing, all different. We also fell in love with Casa Cook. Staff was great- polite, helpful, HAPPY. Ruthann the owner is a dear, and her love of this part of the world is obvious and contagious. And can't forget Marie/Maria- who knows everyone and everything, and can "make a call" and make it happen- no matter the request.
My wife has done considerable overseas travel, but this was a first for me. I did a lot of research, including hours on trip advisor, both for destinations and lodging. Once I settled on Tamarindo, Casa Cook jumped out with the sheer exuberance of the reviews- and at the time I was planning our trip- not a single negative review out of over 50. You don't see that very often. Unfortunately that pristine record was broken shortly before our arrival in Tamarindo, with a negative review that I must take exception to.
The negative review was from someone who stayed (for a couple of days) in the Casita, as did we. They started off by griping that they thought Casa Cook was a Bed and Breakfast and were surprised to find it isn't. There is nothing on Trip Advisor, Casa Cook's web site or anywhere else that mentions breakfast, or any dining or bar service so I don't know why they got the B&B idea. Then they went off on being shown an "Office" with no privacy- windows everywhere- thin curtains, and unenclosed bedroom, etc.
Let me properly describe Casa Cook, and the Casita in particular. Forget B&B. Forget Hotel. Think Guest Apartment on your favorite Aunt's country estate!! Where you are close to everything, but away from it all. Where you can have fine dining (or a fish taco) in 10 minutes (really 5) in either direction down the beach. Or- you can shop for groceries ( a cab is a few dollars) at the Alta Mercado at the other end of town, and prepare your own meals in the fully equipped kitchen- not an efficiency- a real kitchen. No dishwasher- but guess what, the housekeepers do your dishes every morning. Where you can have coffee and a wonderful fruit smoothy for breakfast overlooking the pool. Where occasionally you run into some of your favorite Aunt's other friends in the pool, and compare notes on adventures and dining experiences and recommendations.
It is true the Casita has a lot of windows. Guess what- open the windows during the day and the Casita stays wonderfully cool- even when it's 90+. We only used the air conditioner a little at night. The window treatments are a sunbrella type fabric. Terrific because they provide privacy while allowing you to see out and allow the sun hitting the water in the morning to gently wake you.
I suppose at night if you had a light on on the bedroom and walked in front of it you might be silhouetted in the window, but who cares- you are spending most of each day in the water or on the beach with little clothing anyway.
The entire Casita is relatively open- like a lot of tropical buildings, they use partial walls to help with air-flow and it really works. There is a large bedroom enclosed by these walls and a living area with two futons that opened to the kitchen. It was perfect for a couple, and we plan to take our teenage kids next time- but may not be right for people that want to shut themselves up in a bedroom. The bath was plenty large enough (shower for two?) and everything clean, clean, clean- every day. Oh, and by the way- we thought the bed was very comfortable. We have a temperpedic at home and like a firm supportive mattress- and slept great every night.
Casa Cook is on the beach. I mean ON THE BEACH. You can watch surfers from the pool. You don't have to schlep "stuff" to the beach. You can leave your towel (and cervesa) by the pool, play in the ocean, and get back before the cervesa gets warm!! The tides in Tamarindo are amazing. High tide- the waves wash over your feet as you sit just outside th the gate. Low tide- the water is 50 yards out- uncovering to either side of Casa Cook the most fantastic surface of the moon landscapes of lava rock, with coral, urchins and small fish in the captured tidal pools. But in front of Casa Cook- just more beautiful sandy beach- one of the few spots along Tamarindo Bay with absolutely no rocks at low OR high tide.
We planned to take a few excursions during this trip- maybe the volcano, hot springs and a river ride- but have to admit- once we got there, we just didn't leave- for anything. Just alternated between the ocean, the pool, the hammocks on the beach- a walk to town. We purposely didn't have a car- and really didn't miss it at all. Well- I did take a gyrocopter ride over the beach. Highly recommended- absolutely a blast- saw ton of fish, turtles, SHARKS and rays- mostly down by Playa Grande
Like many others have said- it's tempting to try to keep this place a secret- but that isn't fair to Casa Cook- or to you- the next guests in Auntie's guest house.
The Casita is roomy, cool during the day, and has a lovely outdoor dining area overlooking the pool.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.