My boyfriend and I recently stayed four nights at Kaya's Place, and I'm still not sure what to make of it.
When we first got to Puerto Viejo, we had trouble finding the hotel because there are no signs pointing you in the right direction from town. We eventually made our way there, though.
I found the hotel's owner, JT, to be equal parts rude and helpful. He really does seem to love it there in Puerto Viejo, but somehow he doesn't seem to really like visitors to the area (which makes me think he might be in the wrong line of work). I kind of felt like he was just treating us like dumb tourists a lot of the time. That being said, he also was welcoming and invited us out to dinner with him and some other hotel staff during our very first conversation with him, so I didn't really know what to make of him.
I liked most of the other members of the Kaya's Place staff. The people who work at the front desk were very nice and welcoming, as was Randy, the man who does maintenance there. We also made friends with the overnight security guard, Will (who only speaks Spanish, but is VERY friendly and kind). I thought the cleaning girls did a good job, too.
Something that I didn't read about before I went to Kaya's Place is that it is situated on an EXTREMELY dusty road, which cars and large trucks traverse all day long and into the night. The traffic is kind of loud and often mutes the sound of the ocean on the other side of the road, and dust is blown at the hotel pretty much constantly. To the hotel's credit, they do clean and sweep up the dust every day, but I would've liked to have known about that road beforehand.
Our room itself was very clean, if small. I found the bed to be pretty comfortable, but would have preferred a larger fan in our room than the one we had. We paid for an ocean view room, but couldn't see the ocean very well out of our window (although I could hear it at night between vehicles going by).
Kaya's Place has a nice porch with hammocks and sofas to lay on. We spent a lot of time out there just reading and taking naps.
I really would not recommend Kaya's Place to families with small children for several reasons: First off, JT has two large dogs that, while they seem like gentle giants, I don't know how they would behave around really small children. Secondly, the environment there really is more of a beach-y, surfer, party atmosphere and I don't think small children would fit into the scene terribly well. (To be fair, the hotel states on its website that small children are not allowed to stay in several of the rooms there.)
My boyfriend and I found it difficult to enjoy any time alone at Kaya's Place because of a distinct lack of privacy anywhere other than in our room. There was also a local guy (an expat) who was really drunk and tried to strike up a conversation with us on the last night we were there, and we found him to be really rude and obnoxious. I saw him there a few other times prior to that, too, and it made me wonder about the kinds of people who hang out there in the evenings.
Overall, I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either, and I don't think I would go back. I'd probably advise against staying there unless you are a young single traveling alone or with a group of friends, in which case it would probably be the perfect place for you.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.