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“Beautiful grounds, lots of animals...some unwanted...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Verde Lodge

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Casa Verde Lodge
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Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 7304, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Beautiful grounds, lots of animals...some unwanted...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2011

A beautiful place to stay. From the street it looks small but it's actually a few acres in size and they have a nice pool in the back. Our room had 3 beds and was very large. They cleaned the rooms daily and changes the towels. The pool towels were old and had stains on them though. We had a little front patio with 2 chairs and a hammock. We stayed there for 4 nights. The gardens are full of beautiful plants and lively crabs live in there. The major issue we had was cockroaches in our room. The security guard gave us Raid but then our room smelled for the rest of the night. I wish they'd fumigate here. Also this place has no air but the security guard was nice enough to give us an extra fan. It was a nice place overall for the price but if you don't like critters I'd stay away.

  • Stayed August 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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115 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Austin, Texas
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2011

We found Casa Verde while looking for a different place to stay in Puerto Viejo. It was affordable and welcoming. We had a cabina room, that used the shared bathrooms. The room was clean and had mosquito nets and fans. It was very quiet and peaceful. The bathrooms were always clean and never unpleasant. After a long day riding bikes to Manzanillo beach, we enjoyed a dip in their beautiful pool. It was the first and only place I stayed that had a pool. Staying at Casa Verde is an experience in itself. The property is very beautiful and has a lot of tropical plants I have never seen before. If I come back to Puerto Viejo, I would definitely stay here again!

Room Tip: We asked for a per person rate, and were able to get a room that was part of a larger apartment.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Santa Monica, California
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2011

This was my first trip to Costa Rica and I spent a HUGE amount of time researching and sending emails to inquire about various hotels and Cabinas around the counrty. Our trip would include a short stay near Arenal, about 5 days in Tamarindo (Pacific Coast) and about 5 days in Puerto Viejo (Caribbean Coast). I had very few friends who had ever been to Puerto Viejo, so I was at a complete loss for information aside from what appeared to be pile upon pile of overstated propaganda which was available on the web. Since this would be at the end of my trip, I was very concerned about keeping the cost of lodgings as low as I possibly could (to allow more cash for tours, drinking and shopping). After several weeks of searching, I had finally decided upon an hotel which was a bit more than I had hoped to pay in Chaquita. It was then that I came across a very old and outdated copy of Frommer's. It was just a fragment of a review from the 90's, but the words I saw were "Cabinas Casa Verde". After having done so much research, I couldn't believe that a hotel had escaped my probing eyes/emails. At the very last minute, I decided to look it up.

As it turned out, Casa Verde was actually in the town of Puerto Viejo (proper) - which was where I was told would be the best place to stay for the money. The website had very few photos, but it seemed that they had many options for lodging. Some cabins had shared shower/toilet and others had ensuite shower/toilet. The prices looked perfect for my budget and as far as I could tell on the map, it was about a block from the beach. Not that it matters in Puerto Viejo as you can easily walk from PV town up and down the coast to Playa Negra, Chiquita and for those that like a good walk, even Manzanillo to the South, is not out of reach (we preferred to get there by 10 min taxi ride, but we saw many people biking down as well). I noticed that the website also had one price for credit card payments and one price for cash payments (which was a few bucks lower than that for credit card payments).

I wrote to the hotel for more info. Their reply was VERY SLOW, which along with the lack of photos on the website, made me very nervous. As it was, I was not sure if I should trust in all of the Shuttle bus companies which wanted payment before we would even be setting foot in the country (as it turned out, they were all perfectly trustworthy and perfectly on time. btw: Third party vendors were much easier to reach than the actual companies. In some cases, they would even contact the companies directly and have them get back to me - which I thought was AMAZING, since I was largely unable to reach them for myself. They NEVER returned any calls or emails). I began to get nervous and even considered cancelling our reservation. The hotel finally got back to me, just before I was about to back out of my plans to stay there. I have to admit, I was still rather suspicious. But I decided that if for some reason, the place was a scandal, I would just find something else on the spur of the moment and book us in "real time".

From Tamarindo, we had a 30 min plane ride back to SYQ, where our shuttle picked us up and drove us 4 hours through beautiful countryside to Puerto Viejo. At first, the place didn't look like much, but I assimilate quickly and many times places that look like crap at first sight, end up being some of my most beloved places to stay. I told myself to stop thinking like "an American" and start thinking like a Tica. And after this self lecture everything went smoothly. We walked passed the entrance gate up a cute little red brick path to the reception area. We were greeted and checked in with just a very short wait while the person at reception ended her phone call. We were given the keys to our cabin which was located at the back of the property. As we started down the long brick pathway, the ground appeard to come alive! Little blue crabs (and really big ones) began to scurry everywhere! All of them quickly diving into holes which covered every inch of dirt throught the property. It was a little surreal. There were beautiful trees and gorgeous flowers all throughout the property and lining the walkway as we went. There were huge bunches of bananas hanging every here and there, which were covered in beautiful local birds clamoring for a peck at the bunches. As we made our way further along the path, we passed a giant gazeebo where we were told they did their massages. The gazebo was next to the pool/jacuzzi area.

We continued along and finally came to our cabin at the very back of the property. We were in the only set of cabins with an "upstairs" area. Our cabin was on the top floor and as we approached it, we could see that at the top of the stairs was a set of hanging beads (the kind hippies used to put across every door way in the 60's). Up we went. At the top of the stairs to our left was the bathroom area. It was very small with a toilet, a sink/mirror and a shower. On our right was a really lovely and fairly big sized covered proch area with a hammock, chairs and table on it. Beyond the proch was the room. We entered the room to see it was a decent size with a twin bed and a queen bed on the right and a twin bed on the left. The windows were covered on the outside by a steel grate which had air holes cut into the shape of butterflies, geckos, etc. The inside of the windows had glass slates which could be rolled open or closed (although the thought of closing them in the very VERY powerful heat and humidity was enough to make me panic). There were blue curtains covering the slates. The room did not have air conditioning, but it did have a little shelf for hanging/setting clothes and a small refrigerator. There was also a small wooden table/ledge. At first I thought we might have to move as there was simply not enough airflow going through the room. If you leave the door open at night, lots of little (and BIG) critters make their way into your room. So at times it was rather smothering - at least until we were finally acclimated..which took about 2 days). There was a small tv with cable, but the cable was out for the majority of the 5 days we stayed there. Being that I do not surf, I was looking forward to taking breaks throughout the day and catching up on my favorite shows without the interruptions I usually have at home. So this was a bit of a bummer for me. Also because I have trouble sleeping at night without the TV on. But I do understand that this was beyond the control of the hotel. I was glad that I had bookd the ensuite room, because otherwise we would have been at the front of the hotel in a room that was connected to other rooms with a common wall and using a shared shower/toilet area which was a few yards away from the room. This is really not such a bad thing, but since I had hoped for this to be a romantic trip, I had been hoping for some privacy which for the most part, we got. Our neighbors downstairs were quite loud throughout most of the night, but they left after just a day of us being there - so that was nice. The room is kept up very clean by the housekeepers who always seem to know when you are away or home. ** Warning - the streets of PV come ALIVE at night and consequently can also be quite noisy. If you have one of the cabins at the back of the property, you can expect to hear a lot of noise at night from the people laughing and hanging out in the hotel behind the property as well as the folks just out having a good time in the streets. It may take a minute to get used to all the chatter and "partying" noises, but in the end you will likely become endeared to them - these are the noises of Costa Rica. This is what it sounds like to hear living people outside enjoying a spirited game of cards or chess. This is what life is about!

The pool area did not look so great, but in the sweltering heat, it became a favorite place of mine to cool off at the end of the day. Although the pool was not supposed to close until 10pm, we found that it was closed early on a few occasions which was a bit of a let down to us. The rock encased jacuzzi is located above the pool in an "infinity" style, with water falling over the jacuzzi's rocks, downwards into the pool. There were lounge chairs and table around the perimeter of the pool, but not all of them had umbrellas and therefore each day the "umbrella" table always seemed to be unavailable, leaving the rest of the people in the direct equitorial sun rays. ...which left me with an unexpected whole body burn - I never get those! The bottom of the pool had apparently been painted or was somehow made to be a shade of green which was cracking and peeling and leaving the pool looking a bit shabby, but despite it's looks it was cleaned every day and aside from looking kind of ugly, had no other problems that I could tell. This turned out to be a great place to meet most of the other hotel visitors as they all came out at some point on each and every day. Everyone was very friendly (although the language barriers could sometimes get in the way of any "real" conversations - the people there were from ALL OVER THE WORLD)

The staff at Casa Verde was very helpful and friendly. They provided us with cutlery when we came home with take away food (and forgot to bring silverware with us), they baked a delicious cake, which was available for purchase at the reception desk. We were not aware that they provided breakfast as another review menitoned, but I'm sure it would have been very tasty as everything else edible that we bought from here was. There was free coffee every morning in the little "cafe" area near the reception desk.

The location of Casa Verde is perfect as it is just a block or so back from the beach, which keeps you out of the way of the beach craziness, but close enough to get to it, if you want to. It is an easy walk from the hotel to all the town's bars, restaurants, shopping, Playa Negra, Chaquita Beach, etc. It is very easy to find taxis from this location with a walk of just a few steps to a common taxi waiting area. At night, off in the distance you can hear some of the outdoor clubs with their music thumping, but it is not so close as to be a problem. There are cute statues of animals around the property as well as terreriums which apparently hold "critters" from time to time (although they were empty when we went). There is also a grassy area at the back of the property which is big enough to get friendly game of soccer (or whatever) going or just to lounge on, if you don't like the pool area.

We were nervous at first, but in the end, we LOVED our stay at Cabinas Casa Verde and we found the town of Puerto Viejo and the neighboring towns to all be amazing in their own way. With Casa Verde as our home base, we were easily able to arrange tours of the Jaguar Rescue Center, the Chocolate House Tour (where chocolate making demos are given right before your eyes by local "Bris Bris" people. You also get to taste as much as you like..and of course buy some fresh made chocolate if you like). ** Word of warning - there are TWO different chocolate tours. One is a tour of a farm with a hike to a waterfall to swim, which also includes lunch with the farmers who own the place. The other is a tour of a chocolate "house" where a local Bris Bris family has been hand making chocolate for many generations. For the choco-waterfall tour, you need a minimum of 3 people. If your arranged tour does not meet that quota, they will take you to the other Chocolate house, which is a few bucks less, but not all that exciting. They will NOT give you advance warning of this. They are more likely to tell you AS YOU ARE WAITING for the tour bus to pick you up. Of course you can cancel, but few people will acutally do this. We always try to turn a minus into a plus, so we went on the smaller tour and had a really great time talking to the Bris Bris woman who was doing the demo about local customs, politics, religious comparisons, etc! It was very interesting to get the views of a person who comes from a tribe of people who still do things the way they were done centuries ago! And we had a great time talking to the tour van driver as well. He was a really nice guy!

In short, Cabinas Casa Verde was a really pleasant place to stay for a great price. It is not located in a picturesque setting, but gorgeous views are just about a block away. It is easy to walk from Casa Verde to all the local beaches and there is much shopping and food available within about 5 minutes of walking (we even found a jewish fried chicken stand!). It is also easy walking distance to the clubs and there is a small market just a few yards away. The staff is friendly and although they were not "throwing" tons of helfpul ideas and suggestions our way, they were more than willing to help us out in any way they could, anytime we asked them. The en suite cabins were totally awesome and even the cabins which shared common toilet/shower areas looked to be very adequate and pleasant. There was a little "street" noise coming from behind the property at night, but ultimately was not a real problem. There's no air conditioning, but you will become acclimated quickly. I was not at all displeased with my stay at Casa Verde and in fact, I was really bummed to have to leave it.

I would recommend Cabinas Casa Verde to anybody who enjoys being INVOLVED in life and doesn't mind the sights/sounds of other LIVING people around you. It is great for anybody on a budget and I found it to be very lovely and central to everything. You will not be dissappointed in Cabinas Casa Verde.

Room Tip: rooms at rear are ensuite and lovely, But expect minor, but noticeable noise from the people in the...
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport Beach, California
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2011

My wife and I stayed here for two nights just wondering into town ad picking it out. We truely lucked out, as it is in town and very clean. They have delicious fresh brewed coffee most of the day. I recommend a place about 2 blocks down for beakfast and lunch called Bread & Chocolate (go and you'll see what I am talking about).
Buy fresh fruit off the local vendors and be sure to get some beef or chicken kabobs off the ladies on the street that say "Very good, very good".
Make sure you head down to Manzanillo and take a little hike around the beaches and down to the red river.
My wife and I trekked all across Costa Rica for two weeks by SUV and covered just about every corner or the country. If you want any advice please message me and I'm more than willing to help.

Pura Vida,
JB

  • Stayed March 2011, 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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Vancouver
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2011

A friend and I (we are two women in our 30s) stayed in one of the two apartments advertised on the website for a week and had a fantastic time.

Location:
The apartments are just off to the side of the main inn complex with a high locked gate all around. It is located just two blocks off the main street so we felt secure walking home at night. The streets are dark so a flashlight is a good idea. Some people warned us about staying in town due to noise but it did not really bother us. However, if you are looking for lots of peace and quiet, I would suggest skipping the apartment and considering one of the rooms inside the hotel. They are set back from the road a bit more and surrounded by greenery, so it is much quieter there. At night, they are monitored by a security guard so also safe.

We were allowed to use the hotel pool (open 9 am - 10 pm) which was a real bonus - the pool is fantastic and the grounds are beautiful -- very lush and green with frogs, crabs, banana trees, etc. We loved using the pool when we got too hot at the beach.

Amenities:
The apartment was a good size with a large wrap around patio, one double bed and one single bed located right beside the double bed, a TV, a decent size kitchen with bar stools and a kitchen table/bench. There is no air conditioning but the apartment had one large floor fan and another small fan which we found cooled the room sufficiently. The apartments have large shuttered windows with screens that you open up onto the patio.

The kitchen had a bar fridge, coffee maker, hot plate and microwave. The selection in the kitchen was a bit random (one bowl, two dinner plates, 12 saucers, 3 wine glasses, etc.). As it turned out, we actually did not cook anything because we discovered so much great, inexpensive food nearby. However, we found the fridge and coffee maker convenient to have.

The bathroom had a very small mirror over the sink and a stand up shower. Two bath towels were provided but no face cloths. I would bring my own face cloth and bath towel next time.

The room was not cleaned every day but maybe 2 or 3 times while we were there.

My only "complaint" (if you can call it that) was that there were no hammocks or mosquito nets -- both which were pictured on the website. I would suggest inquiring about those when you reserve if you want them. (Personally, I got eaten alive by mosquitos despite using bug spray).

Service:
We had no issues with the service -- we placed our reservation via email and received prompt confirmation. Once we arrived, all the staff we encountered were nice. Since we did not have a safe in our room, we left our passport and extra money with the front desk each day and did not have any problems.

Pricing:
We stayed in Jan/Feb. The apartment was US$75 /night and they gave us 10% off because we stayed for a week and paid cash.

Overall, we really enjoyed our stay here and would definitely recommend Casa Verde. If you think you will cook, the apartment is a good choice. However, if you just want a nice place in a great location with pool, I would skip the apartment and stay in one of the regular cabins.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Colorado
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2010

It's mislabeled as a B&B - they don't have breakfast. They have free coffee and bottled beverages for sale. We stayed in the cheapest room they have with 2 beds and a sink. They provide towels and soap. This place was very clean and 1 block off the main strip so it's quiet (except they repaved the street when we stayed there so lots of construction noise). The pool was great! Renting a bike would be smart if you stay here but not required. Staff was helpful.

  • Stayed December 2010, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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San Francisco, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2010

Stayed here with our two kids (4 and 3 years old). We chose a room with a shared bath and never had any problems. The rooms are basic, but have fun paintings on the walls. Our room had flowers and a hummingbird. There is also a sink to brush your teeth and wash up in the room. Also includes a ceiling fan and standing fan. We were up near the front of the hotel, so I could hear some street (nightlife) noise but was able to fall asleep.

Pros: The swimming pool is great to have. Hammocks and your own little terrace outside your room with hammock and chairs. Inexpensive - we paid $38 for the room (if you pay in cash/we were here during low season). The grounds are nice. Great location, within walking distance of everything (very close to the market, beach, and very good restaurants). Clean.

Cons: Street noise. Even though there were 4 of us in the room, they never gave us 4 towels, we would also have to go get it. Service was okay - not bad, but not great.

Overall this place is a great value. We loved having the pool there and the location was really great. The boys loved it. There are crabs in the gardens hiding in the dirt and a fountain.

Be sure to check out the Jaguar Reserve especially if you have kids. My kids enjoyed it, but my husband and I loved it. They rescue wild animals, rehabilitate them and release them back into the wild. There are snakes, howler monkeys, horse, sloths, etc...You get to go into the monkey cages and play with them and you are also able to hold baby sloths. Pretty cool.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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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Additional Information about Casa Verde Lodge

Address: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 7304, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 45 B&Bs / Inns in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa Verde Lodge is your connection to our Caribbean Soul and Indigenous Culture!! In the heart of Puerto Viejo the tropical nature and rhythm waits for you!!! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casa Verde Hotel Puerto Viejo
Casa Verde Lodge Costa Rica/Limon

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