My husband and I lived at Villas Tranquilas #13 for almost 6 months while spending the winter in Costa Rica.
We pretty much have a thorough experience with the area and Costa Rica in general. My husband has been coming to Costa Rica for 5 winters now and this was my first one, it was also our longest continuous stay in Costa Rica.
We were looking for somewhere long term to stay, run our internet business from home and spend the winter here. We chose this place because it advertised modern amenities, privacy and 2 bedrooms with king size beds. Well the place we had did not have king sized beds and when we asked about it, we were told NONE of the places have king sized beds... That's simply not true. A few times we got king sized sheets when we went looking for new bed sheets from the maid... Most units also only have A/C upstairs in the bedroom which makes it extremely uncomfortable to spend time downstairs during the day. It gets VERY hot at the villas and a single fan does not cut it. We bought a large floor fan as well and it still didn't cut out the heat. The Costa Rica sun is strong and there are no trees to provide shade.
When we got here in Oct 09 the place was completely deserted, we were the only ones around (it was rainy season) and wasn't too bad. Unless of course you had a problem and needed to get a hold of someone, in that case good luck, because it was pretty hard. The internet went down (we have an internet business) and it took 3 days for someone to get back to us and finally bother coming around to look at it and fix it. The managers suggested that everyone in Costa Rica must have the internet down so there was no use going into town to the internet cafe's. We did and found everyone did have internet and only we didn't.
The grounds are nice, they do take care of them and it is nice to see some birds and squirrel monkeys in the forest behind the buildings. We found that the place was poorly ran and managed in general. It was very sporadic with having a guard at the front watching for anyone coming in, the managers were not around unless it was Dec and packed at the villas.
We had a lovely maid we became close with that took very good care of us and thoroughly cleaned our place top to bottom twice a week, and fed our cat (who was staying with us) when we'd go away for a short trip. She was very friendly and trustworthy and she was there up until January, when we found out she had been fired and so had everyone else at the villas. The only reason we were given was employees had been stealing from eachother and they were hiring new people. This really upset us because we trusted her and did not want random new maids coming in since we had a lot of electronics and personal items in the place. Every week we had 2 different maids show up, random times, we had to request several times for them to come twice a week, we even tipped extra every time and it didn't matter, they always did a bare bones job. We'd have to specifically ask for them to clean the floor, we'd randomly receive some replacement towels, they would give WAY too many hotel soaps and shampoos (which we did not need as long term guests) and they'd take away our personal towels or blankets and we'd have to go find them and ask for them back (which would take days to come back). We were very unhappy with the sporatic shoddy maid service after our trusted maid was fired. The reason the cleaning is actually a big deal is that living at sea level by a jungle you will get A LOT and I really mean A LOT of bugs crawling into your place. Tiny ants, medium ants, jumbo ants, cockroaches, mosquitoes, flies, gecko's, crabs, frogs, toads... doesn't matter they will find a way inside your place. We eat a lot of fruit and let it ripen on the counter and this brings even more critters in the house as they eat the fruit and there were cockroaches in the drawers the stove the cupboards etc. So this is why we needed the place cleaned top to bottom twice a week every week to try to keep the bugs at bay and any food scraps away from the bugs. I have to say I have never been so enraged by cockroaches before, they will be everywhere and the villas doesn't do anything to keep them out, not even spraying which is weird for Costa Rica since they spray everything. (Pesticides are highly used here)
The rooms upstairs are pretty basic, a bed and two night stands and a closet, you need to buy your own hangers or keep your clothes in your luggage. The beds are rock hard and the springs will dig into your back. The screens in every room are ripped at the bottom and have holes in them so mosquitoes will come in and bite you as soon as the sun goes down at 5:30 generally, so at night we used the ac and fans and kept the windows closed because the mosquitoes are intense.
There seems to only be 1 internet connection for all 16 units and they piggy back another modem off of the first one. The modems will freeze up for no foreseeable reason several times a day and have to be restarted or else you are out of luck. This can be a real pain.
I would not suggest coming here in a peak season because it can get really crowded and noisy here when people are partying all night, playing loud music by the pool and getting drunk. A group decided to have a wedding here and some drunk people decided to come and bang on our windows to try and get us to join them and would not leave us alone while we were eating dinner and politely declined.
The power WILL go out for no apparent reason fairly regularly. This happens in all of Costa Rica but it is particularly frustrating when you're out in the middle of the jungle and can't tell if it's just your complex or the whole town has no power. Sometimes it's 5 minutes sometimes it's 2 hours. During the other guest's wedding reception the transformer to our unit and other unit blew up and we had no power for the rest of the night while they finished partying. Not sure if there was too much power being used for lights and music.
Someone turned off the hot water heater for our place for the last month, not sure why. We asked about it and they claimed it was working and then ignored us when we asked again. Hard to wash dishes in the dish washer with cold water...
The appliances are pretty poor quality, the fridge makes a terrible buzzing sound constantly which people can hear on a phone conversation, the dish washer button barely worked, only after pressing about 6 times. I think this poor quality is standard for Costa Rica, but still frustrating that they don't work properly.
After staying there for almost 6 months we really did not feel like we were treated well at all. The only person who did was our original maid who was always kind and helpful and went out of her way to tidy and organize things for us without being asked. Anyone else we needed help from it seemed a big ordeal and then it wasn't always followed through and we were left waiting and waiting for someone to get back to us or come over.
The scenery is nice here, the pool is nice in the morning before it heats up too much from the sun and it is quiet and away from the noise of Quepos (like cars and dogs barking).
I would only suggest people spend a short time here since you will be treated better if you're like a hotel guest and none of the frustrating things like excessive heat, bugs, power outages and internet going down, will likely not drive you crazy. And not in a peak season would help too, the pool is too small when families are playing volleyball in it to have any room to take a dip.
I hope the management company makes some improvements to how things are run and taking care of customers here. For the longest time you would have no idea who to contact or when something was going to be fixed. We also did not know we were supposed to get 1 free maid cleaning a week and we had been paying extra for this the entire time and we did not know until the end either. Some sort of cockroach control would be a great asset too, if it were just a few it wouldn't be so bad, but 1 out of every 3 times you open a drawer you will see one.
If you're going to stay here I would also suggest renting a car so you can get around, you cannot walk anywhere nearby and it gets too hot during the day or rains so it's not practical.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.